Fernando Gonzalez and Robin Soderling will be exchanging heavy ground strokes for a chance to get one step closer to the finals of the French Open.
Soderling generated the most buzz so far with his four-set win of Rafael Nadal, and his dominance over Nikolay Davydenko today was just as impressive. Losing only five games to the 11th ranked player in the world is simply stunning.
Fernando Gonzalez finished off Andy Murray in another superb effort. Gonzalez had 49 winners and just 24 unforced errors in overwhelming Murray.
These two talented players have faced each other seven times, with Gonzalez winning the last four matches—two of them on clay.
The matches have been extremely close, with Gonzalez winning six of the eight sets but two of them being tiebreakers.
I believe the edge in this match goes to Gonzalez, even though Soderling is playing the best tennis of his life.
It's not that I don't think Soderling can continue his fine play and win; it's just that I think Gonzalez matches up very well with him and will win a very close match.
Fernando Gonzalez plays to his strength (most of the time). He will slice the backhand cross court over and over until he opens the court up. Out of nowhere, Gonzalez will run around the backhand and hit a very heavy topspin forehand down the line. The amount of topspin increases his margin for error.
Soderling will not be playing just another top player. He will be playing a very aggressive player who can be patient when the situation calls for it and can win points quickly when the opportunity arises.
Unlike Nadal and Davydenko, who both played passively at times, Gonzalez will not hesitate to dictate the play.
Soderling has played wonderful tennis at Roland Garros and beat the previously undefeated Nadal, but Gonzalez will win this thrilling four-set match.