Federer is still the only person to defeat Nadal in a clay-court final and did so for the second time today, winning in straight sets, 4 and 4. Nadal was apparently affected by the semifinal match against Djokovic, seeming unable to reach some balls he might normally have run down. The higher altitude did not help, causing the ball to move faster. Nadal has been on a tear since the Australian Open, though, and the one aspect of winning consistently in any sport is that you play more than the field.
Federer seems to have found his clay game and the service game has returned. Any win against Nadal (especially on clay) can only be a confidence-builder going into Roland Garros. Still, it seems to be Nadal’s tournament to lose and I kind of hope Madrid is a preview of the RG final.