Just call Robin Soderling the master of unforeseen upsets. The Swede pulled a stunning defeat against tennis ace Roger Federer at the French Open Tuesday evening, local time. The win left fans shocked and awed, which happens to be a familiar feeling to Soderling.
Last year, Soderling pulled his first stunning upset when he dethroned four-time consecutive defending champion Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the French Open. He went on to lose to Federer in the final after a humiliating three sets. This year, the number-five-seeded Soderling turned the tables and eliminated Federer from the semi-finals, something that hasn't happened to Federer since 2004.
"I always believe that I can win," said Soderling on his victory. "This is a big win but it’s not the final and I don’t want to celebrate too much, I want to focus on the next game.”
Soderling, who had previously been 0-12 against Federer, shut down the number-one-seed all day with his power. It seemed that Federer would walk away with a simple win after taking the first set in just over a half hour, but Soderling relented and claimed the second set.
The match was forced off the court during the third set due to rain, and Soderling returned to take the set after it had been tied 5-5. Soderling ultimately took home the match after just three hours of gameplay. His final dominating record stood at 3-6 6-3 7-5 6-4.
With Federer's loss, Nadal has the ability to snatch the number-one ranking if he can win the Open next week. Most fans will be hoping for a Nadal-Soderling rematch, which is sure to be a promising match-up if both parties can win their respective semifinals. Soderling will go on to play Czech Tomas Berdych in the semifinals Friday, and Nadal will take on Serbia's Novak Djokovi.