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Nadal lost to Djokovic in RG semifinal, then admitted only weeks later that he had a foot injury.
Federer lost to Hurkacz in WB quarterfinal by a bagel in the final set, on his favorite surface and favorite court, botching routine volleys and mishitting shots which he almost never does.
Djokovic lost to Medvedev in USO final, and was crying in the break after being down MP and realizing that he couldn't win.

3 different scenarios: still all 3 players on their best surfaces did suffer a humiliating defeat, in the biggest slam loss in this year.
Which was the most damaging for their reputation (not career wise, as they have many accolades, and are surely legends of the game), at least in the short term, for the next season?
 

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Nadal's loss, because it was at RG. And because his wins at Barcelona and Rome masked his true level. If he'd managed to win the third set, he probably would have won the tournament. But again he choked and wilted. That hurts his aura amongst his competitors.

As for Fed, the Andujar and Felix defeats were more damaging to be honest. And he was lucky to get past Mannarino. The Hurkacz loss could hardly be called a surprise.

Djokovic's loss against Meddy hurts him, because it gives confidence to his biggest HC rival. Meddy hit DFs at his first two MPs and could easily have folded from there. But now he has a first slam win under his belt and will be more composed in future.

But the fact that Nadal crumbled at RG against a Djokovic who played very well for long stretches but was hardly clutch ... that really dents his aura.
 

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A 40 yo losing in a QF of a slam is no big deal.
Nadal losing to Djokovic who almost achieved CYGS is no big deal either.
Djokovic losing on the last step of CYGS in the final against a redlining Medvedev is no big deal either.

So the answer is none of them. Actually I'd say Djokovic failed Olympics campaign is what damaged his reputation most. After all the withdrawals, coming home with 0 medals and 3, almost 4 straight defeats.. That was embarrassing because he was supposed to represent his country and failed miserably.
 

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Their reputation depends on their wins, and all of them have plenty. It's normal that at their current age, they stop winning everything. If anything, it wasn't normal that they won everything so long.
 

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Nadal's loss, because it was at RG. And because his wins at Barcelona and Rome masked his true level. If he'd managed to win the third set, he probably would have won the tournament. But again he choked and wilted. That hurts his aura amongst his competitors.

As for Fed, the Andujar and Felix defeats were more damaging to be honest. And he was lucky to get past Mannarino. The Hurkacz loss could hardly be called a surprise.

Djokovic's loss against Meddy hurts him, because it gives confidence to his biggest HC rival. Meddy hit DFs at his first two MPs and could easily have folded from there. But now he has a first slam win under his belt and will be more composed in future.

But the fact that Nadal crumbled at RG against a Djokovic who played very well for long stretches but was hardly clutch ... that really dents his aura.
Your post makes almost no sense. First you say Rafa's wins in Barca and Rome masked his true level then you go on to say how he could've won the third set vs Djoko in RG sf and win the match. So let's objectively assess what happened.

They were both extremely nervous in the first set, despite the huge lead, Rafa didn't play well. The second set was a nervy affair as well and djoko proved to be more solid. We saw the most intensity in the third set. Still, Rafa had no lead in the tb so I don't understand why do you claim he choked. He ran out of gas in the fourth set and that was it. Even if he'd won the third he'd be in trouble in the fourth.

Everyone could see he was having a hard time entire clay season. While it's certainly a painful loss, his defeat at rg is not devastating. He's had worse loses in his career.
 

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Your post makes almost no sense. First you say Rafa's wins in Barca and Rome masked his true level then you go on to say how he could've won the third set vs Djoko in RG sf and win the match. So let's objectively assess what happened.

They were both extremely nervous in the first set, despite the huge lead, Rafa didn't play well. The second set was a nervy affair as well and djoko proved to be more solid. We saw the most intensity in the third set. Still, Rafa had no lead in the tb so I don't understand why do you claim he choked. He ran out of gas in the fourth set and that was it. Even if he'd won the third he'd be in trouble in the fourth.

Everyone could see he was having a hard time entire clay season. While it's certainly a painful loss, his defeat at rg is not devastating. He's had worse loses in his career.
The very fact that Djokovic could beat him at RG despite a one-set lead shows his level. If he'd been more clutch against a sub-par Novak, he could have won and then eked out a scratchy win against Tsitsipas in the final.
 

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Most damaging

1. The Olympics - Djokovic's priority throughout his career, and he collapsed losing 2 matches in a row, ridiculed himself with his behaviour, and even lost and withdrew from mixed doubles. It was a disaster.

2. The USO - Djokovic proved once again that he can't handle pressure, losing in straight sets on his best surface in one of his biggest career moments.

3. Wimbledon - The 40-15 is a big disappointment and missed opportunity for Federer but he was way past his prime playing against the no.1 player in the world so it was already a victory to be so close. Nothing embarrassing or damaging.

4. French Open - Nadal was injured midway through the match which was clear by his bad movement so this loss is almost meaningless as it was just bad luck for him. Without the injury he would have been able to fight much more and most likely win the match. Nothing embarrassing or damaging.
 

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Nadal is the most devastating one, without a doubt. He would be leading the Slam race, that's goes without saying. Djokovic was also brutal, but 3 Slams in a season is a massive sucess anyway and he's still the favorite in the Slam Race.
 

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Most damaging to their reputation is Joe losing the CYGS match in straight sets. Had the crowd not disturbed Med, he would've won the last set 6-2. Losing 6-4 6-4 6-2 to an inferior opponent, a slam virgin and someone you beat in straights at AO earlier in the year and when you've dominated the entire year beating all the youngsters AND you passed the toughest test (i.e Ziraffe in the earlier round)....it's a turd sandwich.

I don't think croctards predicted that Joe will lose let alone losing in straights. They only predicted that Joe will lose to not jinx him but this time they failed!


Second is Ralph. Losing RG to your main rival when you're a lock every year and you fed bakery products to Joe last year and you're going for the slam record, it's a dumpster fire.

Fred wasn't in slam winning form and is almost 40 so even though losses at Wimbledon hurt, it's not a haunting loss. It's an embarrassing loss similar to Stakhovsky in 2013. Quite frankly after Wim 19, I've forgotten what happened to Federer after that, it's all a blur.
 

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Most damaging to their reputation is Joe losing the CYGS match in straight sets. Had the crowd not disturbed Med, he would've won the last set 6-2. Losing 6-4 6-4 6-2 to an inferior opponent, a slam virgin and someone you beat in straights at AO earlier in the year and when you've dominated the entire year beating all the youngsters AND you passed the toughest test (i.e Ziraffe in the earlier round)....it's a turd sandwich.

I don't think croctards predicted that Joe will lose let alone losing in straights. They only predicted that Joe will lose to not jinx him but this time they failed!


Second is Ralph. Losing RG to your main rival when you're a lock every year and you fed bakery products to Joe last year and you're going for the slam record, it's a dumpster fire.

Fred wasn't in slam winning form and is almost 40 so even though losses at Wimbledon hurt, it's not a haunting loss. It's an embarrassing loss similar to Stakhovsky in 2013. Quite frankly after Wim 19, I've forgotten what happened to Federer after that, it's all a blur.
Why Joe?
 

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Even as a fan it was hilarious to watch how federer missed 5 sitters in a row to lose the tiebreak… I was smiling at crying simultaneously… the bagel in the third was just icing on the cake
 

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3. Wimbledon - The 40-15 is a big disappointment and missed opportunity for Federer but he was way past his prime playing against the no.1 player in the world so it was already a victory to be so close. Nothing embarrassing or damaging.
That was 2019, can't you read?
 

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The very fact that Djokovic could beat him at RG despite a one-set lead shows his level. If he'd been more clutch against a sub-par Novak, he could have won and then eked out a scratchy win against Tsitsipas in the final.
That's way too many ifs for my taste. And no, I don't think that him beating Tsitsipas in the final would be a foregone conclusion. There was a strong possibility he'd have played 5 grueling sets vs Djokovic and would be tired in the final.

I don't know why you insist on saying Djoko was subpar; he executed the right tactic while Rafa practically played without a BH and was passive for most of the time. He was far from winning that match and one shanked volley in the 3rd set TB doesn't mean he'd have won if he made it.
 

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Remains to be seen. I think it's valid to throw in the Olympics as well as FA(A)bulous88 did. It shattered Djokovic's aura of invincibility a bit going into USO. But Med's achievement is historical in giving more confidence to the youngins (not least himself) that they have what it takes to win GSs against anyone.
 

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1- Nadal losing to his biggest rival AGAIN at his favorite slam when going for the slam record.
2- Federer being bageled and in straights against an inferior player at his favorite slam.
3- Djokovic....not winning four slams in a row again? Failed to get #21 but he has his favorite slam as next opportunity. Far below the other two defeats.
 

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Djokovic is not even close.. If he had lost from 40-15, I would say it’s the most embarrassing loss this year. He was bad at the start of the match.

I don’t dislike Federer, actually I respect for Fed, but bagelled on his best surface is the worst. His loss is getting worse and making another history. People saying he’s 40 so it’s not surprising, but to me him desperately participating in the event with rusty form looked even more embarrassing.

Nadal, well I think losing to Djokovic is not that a big deal.
 
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