After the demolition of Federer at the hands of Nadal, i thought about the importance of defeats for the careers of sporting greats. Can such a rout tarnish the career, the reputation or self-confidence of a player or fighter. In Boxing, defeat is certainly the hardest to take. We saw such greats like Joe Louis or Roberto Duran hitting the ground. And maybe the image of Sugar Ray Robinson or Muhammad Ali stayed so clear and high, because they never got really knocked out cleanly. Robinson suffered a heat stroke against light-heavy Maxim, and Ali was safed by his coach Angelo Dundee, when being outclassed by Larry Holmes. But they lost sitting on their stool, not lying in the dust. On the contrary, Mike Tyson was never the same fighter again, after his defeat by Buster Douglas, when he was searching his mouthpiece on the ring floor. In tennis, all great champions had bad losses, Laver against Taylor at Wim in 1970, Tilden vs. Cochet several times, Gonzales vs Hoad at Forest Hills 1959. But this loss by Federer, is stats wise in the range of the Connors-Mac massacre 1984 and the Rosewall-Connors rout of 1974. Both didn't win a big title after that, but both were past their prime at the time of the losses. Its interesting, how Federer will react on this bad loss. Sometimes such drubbings leave mental scars, which never heal. I remember Borg's loss to Mac at the USO 1981, especially his despair look at the 3-4 game of the third set, when Mac turned the match around with two passings and two topspun lobs in succession. Borg gave in and went out of the game into the night. Sampras lost much of his aura, when he got hammered by Safin at the USO 2000. Afterwards, he went into a big slump. I think, this defeat will have a psychological impact on Fed's career, and will be hard to overcome. Now all other sharks in the locker room will smell the blood.