I think this win was more crucial for Djoko than for Nadal. After all 8 consecutive is a record that's not close to get broken. Nadal has already won 2 events on clay this season and he's already won a master. Nadal has also won tons of events on clay throughout his career. For this reason, this must have felt a bit like a case of "one more, one less" despite the disappointment. His main goal at this stage is to peak for RG and be the only player to win a slam 8 times. He still has time to get ready for that.
On the other hand, Djoko was hungry for his 1st master title this season and was eager to demonstrate that his success over Rafa in 2011 was not a freak accident or a parenthesis but something more significant. Djoko needed that boost of confidence. He's now the player with the most success vs Rafa, the only one to have beaten him 3 times on clay. He needed that to get some momentum on clay going imo.
Last edited by veroniquem; 04-21-2013 at 09:51 AM.