Re: 30-year-old Lopez for first time in Top 20
With the big three hoarding up so many points, it is logical that less impressive achievements are required to reach the top 10, 20 or whatever. There are simply less points to go around for those ranked just below the top players.
So, if you do what you have been doing for years, win a few minor titles, consistently reach second week of a Slam, play all the Masters and make the quarterfinals here and there, you're likely to rank higher than in an era where more people are capable of winning slams.
This is not a sign of a weak or a strong era, in my opinion. It's just a logical outcome of the fact that the tennis ranking points system is essentially a zero sum game.
17 (yes, yes, yes!) Slams! And counting....