U got me wrong sir. Hewitt was midget against Fed in slams. Tell me how many times did he beat federer in slams during Federe prime? I dont doubt his fight spirit at all, but he never stood a chance agains federer in his prime. So calling him a big fed rival is just wrong. Only real rivals Fed had and still have are Nadal and Nole.
Stopit! Hewitt is no mental midget against Federer in slams! After 2003 Federer neared his best possible physical form and got some mental stability. Hewitt couldn't make such improvements because he was physically less talented and already very close to his best possible form. Mentally he was already superb and technically he was no match for Federer, but those things are not for everybody to learn...
Further there is no denying that Federer had a dip in physical form at the start of 2008 with the mono, and although he kept working to get back in top shape he has had some little setbacks with his back etc and couldn't always train the way he wanted. so in his 2008-2012 period his physical form wasn't as consistent as during the 2003-2007 years. Hewitt always had to play a physically close to 100% Federer during 2003-2007
Besides that it is also very important to note that Hewitts (and also Roddicks) best surfaces are very fast surfaces, just like Federer. Nadal and Djokovic are better on slower surfaces. If we assume Wimbledon lost some of his quicknes especially in the second week and the Uso was slow last year for whatever reason. They haven't had that many wins against Federer on fast hardcourts or fast grass, maybe not too much opportunities..
Anyway it was a bigger task for Hewitt and Roddick I think.