When Federer defeated Nadal at the Hamburg masters, many of us assumed that Federer would go on to defeat Nadal at Paris for the French Open. I like many pundits, assumed that the defeat of Nadal in a big final would serve two purposes: firstly, Federer would regain his confidence after early losses to Canas and successive defeats to Nadal in prior tournaments and secondly, it would give Federer the final push he needed to really believe he could beat Nadal at the French Open. However, it seemed to benefit Nadal more than Federer. Nadal played far better in this years French than in the previous two. He was especially impressive against Both Hewitt and Djokovic who were both fancied to give him trouble. Nadal also dealt with the disappointment of losing his clay court streak far better than many of us expected. In some ways losing in Hamburg made winning the French Open easier. During the Hamburg masters in which Nadal was feeling the strain of maintaining his streak with tight matches against Davydenko it seemed that he was struggling to deal with the streak and his game. But once the streak was over he could get back to his game without any distractions. I am convinced that if he had not played Hamburg, he may well have lost earlier at the French Open. I think he would have found it hard to concentrate on the matter at hand with all the media flurry that would be buzzing around him plus the fact that had he not entered Hamburg, Federer would have most likely won that tourney and would have come out against Nadal with more determination in the FO final. I think that Federer thought that he had found the recipe at Hamburg and therefore relaxed alot more than he would have in the FO final had he not met Nadal a week prior. Any thoughts?