You think Roger "should" have won the '05 semi at the French? Because I personally remember thinking that Nadal was pretty much soundly out-playing Federer for 85% of the match. He was WAY closer in Rome.
I said he should have played his best in that match, not that he was close. That match is the worst Federer has played against Nadal not counting the 2008 final (which I somehow consider to be not as bad as the scoreline sugests as Federer was experementing with more aggresive tennis in that match).
If Federer would have played at the level he played all year in the 2006 clay season in that 2005 match I think he would win against the young unexperienced Nadal. All I can remember from that match was backhands flying everywhere and Federer coming in without any gameplan to handle Nadal. Later years it became his priority to figure out Nadal and play great tennis on clay but then it was too late, Nadal had became a monster on clay by 2006 and his mental advantage over Federer could not be reversed.
In 2005 Nadals backhand was not a weapon, his game was still not complete, his serve was very, very weak and he could not control points like he can today, he was much more defensive. In 2005 Coria could take Nadal to 5 sets, Gaudio could bagel and beat him, Andreev defeated him on clay. Richardo Mello, Alberto Martin, Augustin Calleri, Richard Gasquet, Radek Stepanek, Seb Grosjean and Mariano Puerta all could take sets against Nadal on clay. He was extremly beatable, he fought like an animal to win all his 2005 titles.
Really, the reason Federer lost that match was because of a lack of attitude on clay that year and also beacause of the total lack of gameplan to play Nadal. In 2006 he played amazing clay tennis and had the gameplan ready to face Nadal but Nadal had become an unbeatable beast by then, it was all too late.