Originally Posted by Mountaindewslave
this. and that's some bullshit in the interview about the game being tougher and players training so much harder to face, harder to win tournaments now than before. it's way easier.
for fun since Hipolymer has decided to bring up the era debate, let's make an interesting note. HOW MANY dangerous players do you seem in draws these days? I'll give you an answer. hardly any! no confidence, no big hitting etc.
it's not that there weren't great players for Fed Ex to face in the mid 2000s, it's that he was just THAT good. I mean think about it! just off the top of my head, players who had brilliant form and were threats on/off a the time, Hewitt, Blake, Gonzales, Davydenko, Soderling, Nalbandian, Roddick etc. they were QUITE good enough to beat Federer, but they were all considered threats, people you watched in the draw.
today all there are players like Tsonga and Berdych who are expected to choke everything away. the reality is the tour is weaker than even during Federer's prime, the top 4 are great players but no better than say other top 4's in the 80s and 90s. they just have lucked out because of the lack of depth and confidence and threats throughout the top 100.
just as an example, Djokovic has matched Becker's slam count and likely will exceed it, but does anyone REALLY think that Novak is a better play than Boris was?
certainly the adjusting of surfaces and weak tour has helped make the top 4 guys look better than they would be if playing in a stronger era. I say this even about Nadal. Federer is the exception, and for the sake of argument I will once again emphasize the fact that he was SO good in his prime and dominated so much that it made the tour appear weaker than it was. the reality is in 2005/6/7 there were a lot more threats around than there are now. less because of how great the top guys are as much as how bad the field is.
I've seen a lot of matches of Becker and Edberg and I think Djokovic is better than both of them. If he already matched their acomplishments being 25 years old he will certainly increase the difference in the near future. I don't think Edberg and Becker could have a year like Djokovic had in 2011, dominating like that (they never did) everyone else.
And if today (by today I mean the last 3-4 years) there aren't dangerous players in the draws if because Nadal, Federer and Djokovic are that good. Just like Federer was that good in 2004-2007 that those players you mentioned could not beat him. Do you think that those players would beat Djokovic?? Gonzalez and Blake aren't better than Tsonga and Berdych. Roddick isn't better than Murray. I agree that there is not much depth outside the top 3/4 nowadays, and there was a bit more in 2004-2005, but from 2006 on there wasn't much depth either. Boredo and Stepanek made the top 10. Ljubicic and Davydenko were Top 3. It was only Federer and Nadal untill Djokovic appeared. Now there's less depth but there are 3 all time greats playing, that's why other players don't have a shot. Murray just won a slam last year and he is better than all those players you mentioned from 2004-2007. Players like Tsonga and Berdych would have more chances back then before the surfaces were slowed down to ridiculous levels.