Sports Thread #2 For 6/1/10: Sweet Swede, Rockin Robin Knocks Off Roger & His Streaks
And the streaks are over.
Robin Soderling has dispatched of Roger Federer here in the quarterfinals of the French Open, taking the match 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4, exhibiting why he is firmly a Top 5 player in the world today. The win ended Federer's remarkable 23 match Grand Slam winning streak, as well as his 12-0 record over the man who finally conquered him today.
You would have thought that Federer would have a dip of form for Soderling to lose this match, but that was the not the case today. Just like Juan Martin del Porto did to him at the US Open, the Swede just basically hit Federer off the court, dominating with his serve and forehand and over coming a slight leg injury.
The key point in the match, besides Soderling holding his serve to start in the 2nd set, was the crucial 5-all game in the third set. The game was stopped in the middle of it thanks to rain. And when they came back to finish that 11th game of the third set, it was Soderling who seized the moment and broke Fedrer, leading him to serve it out to take his first "2 sets to 1" lead over the world #1.
And that first for Soderling lead to an even bigger first against Fedrer for him, closing out the 4th set by breaking the defending champion in the 9th game of what turned out to be the final set. There was no nerves from the 5th ranked player in the world in his closing service game, taking the match in style to placed himself in the semifinals again of Roland Garros, and showing why he is a serious contender for this title.
Speaking of big breakthrough wins, the next opponent for Soderling in the semifinals will be Tomas Berdych, as the Czech seems to finally be playing up to his potential. He thrashed Mikhail Youzhny in straights today to set up another match up with Soderling. With how similiar and close their encounters have been in the past, their semifinal on Friday will be a hard hitting display that will be captivating to watch.
But the breakthrough wins weren't contained to the ATP Tour, as Francesca Schiavone came the first Italian women to reach a Grand Slam semifinal ever in defeating world #3 Caroline Wozniacki in comprehensive straight set fashion. The veteran 29 year old will take on Elena Dementieva, who dispatched of her countrywomen Nadia Petrova for the fifth straight time 2-6, 6-2, 6-0. Petrova was clearly hampered as the match went on with her injury, but still went away quite easy in the third set.
Another massive day in Paris, with all the more to come. And as always for more coverage and in depth post match interviews, just head on over to the always great French Open IBM website.