Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Roland Garros: Soderling strikes again

"Hey, of course it's nice to beat the world No. 1 two years in a row on the center court. I think both times I play really good tennis. I think it's a great feeling."

He will now definitely be known as the ultimate party-pooping, ball-busting, streak-ending, tennis star. Robin Soderling returned to Roland Garros this year, having ended Rafael Nadal's 31 match winning streak in Paris last year, only to beat another world number one, Roger Federer, in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, to end the Swiss' unparalleled run of reaching 23 straight Grand Slam semifinals.

"It was a great run. Now I've got the quarterfinal streak going, I guess," said Federer light-heartedly after the match.

Indeed the 2010 French Open is becoming a sequel to the Robin Soderling epic upset story and the victims in both parts were world number 1's, defending champions, and had clean records against the Swede. Good thing for Soderling's next opponent, Tomas Berdych, he is none of the above.

The scary thing about Soderling is that he can overpower his opponent even on clay as slow as today's. When you combine that kind of power, with extreme precision, the result is sure to be an incredible one... think Soderling, think Del Potro... you'll know what I mean.

More important than ending his opponent's streak, is Soderling finally snapping his 0-12 losing record to Federer. From the spectator's eye, a record like that certainly ensured Federer a win today, but tennis isn't like that, and lucky for us, tennis stars don't see it that way.

"I think even though I lost so many times, I always have a chance to win. I came close a couple of times before, and I really feel like one or two times I actually been a little bit unlucky. With a little bit of lucky I could have won before. Now I'm here finally with a win, and it's great," said Soderling on his losing record to Federer.

Tomorrow Nadal faces Nicolas Almagro, whose racquet speed in his groundstrokes against Fernando Verdasco on Monday, kind of blew my mind. Will we witness more upsets tomorrow? I hope not!!

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