exactly *beams* - tis sad that these once prominent tennis players are now somewhat down and out. It just goes to show that Andy's feat of staying in the top 10 for the last 5 years is quite remarkable.
Well, besides Hewitt, whose fall is a little bit inexplicable (although he was consistent before then and at a very young age), if you look at the people near the top in 2003 - you have a bunch of guys who are/were simply getting older - Agassi, Flip, Grosjean, one fluke in Schuettler, and then a few guys who might very likely have had the same longevity if they hadn't been hit by serious illness/injury in Ferrero and Coria. Look down into the top 20 and you have guys like Henman, Kuerten, Schalken, Novak (that's Jiri Novak), and El-Aynaoui, again all aging and have either retired or almost retired since. The only guy you really have to say WTF to is Nalbandian but since his dedication to tennis is questionable it's no surprise he fluctuates around. Safin and Haas have had trouble staying healthy for long enough periods of time to maintain their rankings and there you go. so yeah it's definitely worth crediting Andy for being able to stay in the top 5 since then but the only other guy who is around his age and has remained relatively healthy and cares about tennis as their full-time priority is Fed, and he's been there too. If there had been other guys who had stayed healthy or if Nalbandian cared about the game all the time, more of them would've stayed top 5 or 10 for much longer. I guess luckily for Andy, he does get these annoying minor injuries a lot mostly due to his own clumsiness, but he's avoided anything serious, which has helped him stay there as much as anything. Of course we can take that one further and say that he's been able to avoid serious injury because he works so hard and is in such great shape but sometimes luck plays a role there too
Interestingly, people would think - because 3 guys are taking up such a majority of the points - that it actually probably wouldn't take as many points to be in the top 10 now as it did then. BUT in December 2003 Grosjean had 1610 points and in December 2007 Robredo had 1765 points (right now Berdych has 1685). That's actually really interesting to think about - 3 guys are hogging almost all the points but you STILL need more points than 5 years ago to be in the top 10. Interesting.