Well, Andy almost beat Nole in 2011 in Rome so could have been 1 more win there – very close. Pardon me for bringing Sampras but he only won 3 clay titles including Rome Masters but he did beat a handful great clay-courters. And the fact is, despite his mediocre results on clay, he was still able to win 14 Slams and stayed No. 1 for six straight years. So Andy doesn’t really need to do as well on clay if you get my drift, but he will definitely have to maximize his effort on grass, hard and carpet. He does have a lot of room there to have a great career even without clay.
Carpet has been abolished in 2009.
I think or rather hope, Andy continues on clay where he left off in 2011. Last year was tough for him because of the back injury, so I don't think we should read too much into it. Not many players have been able to take a set off Nadal in MC, so that's certainly promising. Their RG match was also a lot closer than the score suggests. Andy had 18 BPs in that match, he just couldn't convert any of them.