No shame losing to Nadal, but Federer didn't show much fire Nadal's dominating win could make Wimbledon very interesting Once Roger Federer dropped the first two sets to Rafael Nadal, he seemed to pack it in. Let's start with the fallout from the men's final in Paris. There were a lot of questions about the Nadal-Federer match and its consequences. In the interest of economy, I'll condense to five thoughts. 1. All this talk of Roger Federer's "failed strategy" seems a bit silly to me. Rafael Nadal is so superior to everyone on clay -- particularly when he's playing this well -- that tactics had very little to do with anything. Federer plays patiently? He loses the majority of the rallies with impenetrable Nadal. Federer attacks? He watches passing shots scream by. He drives his backhand down the line to Nadal's backhand? Nadal runs around it, whips the forehand to the open court. He drops shots? Nadal chases them down and whaps winners. He slices and chips? Nadal feasts on the slow pace. Bottom line: Nadal is virtually unbeatable on clay, an inconvenient truth that no game plan can offset. 2. Federer's attitude, on the other hand, was puzzling. He seemed to sense defeat early and betrayed no body language that indicated he thought he could win. For as much as we mock fist-pumps, "C'mon," "Allez," "Vamos" and "Eh-Dah" (or whatever it is Ivanovic says), at least they send a message: "I'm fired up and I'm coming for you, pal." After a set and a half, Federer sent this message instead: It's not my day. One of Federer's admirable qualities is his measured self-awareness. It's what enables him to come across as one of us, and not some deity. But it can work against him, too. Down two sets to Nadal, he's almost too rational. He can't delude himself into thinking he has a chance, so he more or less packs it in. 3. Federer is mentally weary. Tennis stars invariably reached a point when the grind of the circuit wears them down. In his new book (plug alert), Pete Sampras mentions that the Slams were always fine, but the Cincinnatis and Hamburgs induce the burnout. I suspect if Federer could, he'd only play majors (and maybe Basel and Dubai) from here on out. 4. No, I don't think this brutal loss cuts against Federer's GOAT status. He's playing on his least favorite surface. He reaches the final for the third straight time. He has the misfortune of playing perhaps the greatest claycourter ever on a day when the guy can't miss. One of you said belligerently, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but I never saw Sampras lose like that in a final!" No, he just lost to some Galo Blanco in the second round. 5. Yes, Wimbledon suddenly becomes very interesting. Nadal displayed unbelievable defense in Paris. I wrote in SI this week that all you need to do is notice the tracks and slashes in the clay. He chases down everything. But once he was in the point, he hardly played classic claycourt tennis. Right up on the baseline, he played like a hardcourter who happened to be on dirt. Even without the big serve, if he can continue this style and quality of play on grass, he could do one match better than last year. I think Federer is still the slight favorite at Wimbledon. But would anyone be at all surprised if Nadal pulls off the double?