Robin Soderling caused one of the greatest upsets in Grand Slam history when he blew away Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-7(2) 6-4 7-6(2).
Nadal, chasing a fifth straight Roland Garros title, saw his 31-match unbeaten run in Paris come to an end in one of the biggest upsets in tennis history. Soderling’s win comes a month after he was beaten 6-1 6-0 by Nadal in Rome.
“I try to keep telling myself before the match that, I have to believe,” Soderling said. “Of course, I told everybody this is the biggest challenge you can have, playing Nadal, the best clay court player of all time on clay, best of five sets in Roland Garros. But still, I have to believe that I have a chance, otherwise there’s no meaning going on the court – I could just go home instead. I tried to keep telling myself that at least I have a small chance. This is the biggest moment of my career so far. I couldn’t even dream of this before the match, so I will remember this match for the rest of my life.”
“He didn’t surprise me because I know how he plays and how dangerous he can be,” Nadal said the 22-year-old. “When I practised this morning I felt good. I felt very good, but it wasn’t the case during the match. I didn’t play my best. I played very short and I couldn’t attack. I made it easy for him to play at his level. But I lost. People think I win because I’m physically fit, but, no. When I win, it’s because I play well, and that wasn’t the case today.”
“I was not calm enough to face the important points, so I had to fight. But sometimes fighting is not enough. You have to play a good level of tennis.