Nah until Rafito stops camping 10ft behind the baseline, he'll never adapt to hardcourts. He has to zealously stay on the baseline to have a chance at beating top hard-court players. Also he needs to shorten that big, loopy swing.
I think there's at least a chance of this happening! I love that Misha is in the semis and has a strong chance of going up against Nadal in the finals - always a good test of form. He beat him twice in a row on hard courts not that long ago, so anything is possible. Davai.
Yeah, Youzhny is definitely not the "strong favorite" in this match that he would have been at this time last year. Nadal didn't hold the trophy anywhere after Wimbledon (save Stuttgart on clay) but he didn't have the uncharacteristic losses so frequently either. And, he did smoke Youzhny in Paris, as has already been noted.
He did play a little farther back than I'd like during stretches against GGL, but all-around he looked very solid and aggressive.
I'm calling Nadal in straight sets (IF they both make the final). I also think the match with Moya could get stickier than Nadal would like...