Last year, Novak played on at MC even as he suffered a personal tragedy and wasn't in the right frame of mind to play. As of then, he had a solid mental edge over Nadal beating him 7 times in a row including two straight set beat downs on clay in 2011. By playing MC when he was vulnerable, he conceded that mental edge which set the precedent for the rest of the clay season and handed the advantage back to Nadal on clay. Agreed that Novak's form in 2012 was nowhere close to 2011 God mode, but if he had avoided ceding the mental edge back to Nadal, the next time they met, Nadal would be one notch below on confidence and Djokovic a notch higher. I see the same thing repeating this year. Novak is injured and has somehow managed to make the final just because his draw got relatively easy with Delpo crashing out. With his current form and the injury, I think he will suffer a really bad loss (something like 2 and 2 or worse) which I am afraid can result in his confidence taking a hit the next time he plays Nadal. Moreover, his injury could be getting worse if he is forcing himself to play while not being fully fit. I think Novak playing here was a bad move and may come back to haunt him if it impacts the rest of his clay season, specially his chances at RG, ending his career slam dreams once again for this year.