Former Swedish tennis player Robin Soderling says he still feels the effects of his shock French Open win over Rafael Nadal as people still stop him on the streets to talk about the upset. Nadal, who debuted at Roland Garros in 2005, made it all the way in each of his first four French Open appearances but his outstanding streak came to an end in 2009 when he met Soderling.
Soderling, a former world No. 4, delivered one of his best performances ever to stun Nadal 6-2 6-7 (2) 6-4 7-6 (2) in the round-of-16 at the French Open in 2009. That same year, Soderling made his maiden Grand Slam final but couldn't stun Roger Federer to win it all.
"Of course it's nice to be part of tennis history. Even today, people come up to me on the streets, or people I know, and at least two-three times a week I speak about this match, which is nice of course," Soderling told The Times of India in telephonic chat.
"Everyone remembers where they were sitting when they saw the match, when they heard the news."
Robin Soderling can't understand why did Jo Wilfried Tsonga made such a claim
Recently, Tsonga came out and said that Nadal was hampered by a bad throat when he played against Soderling in 2009.
A few years later in his autobiography, record 12-time French Open champion Nadal revealed that he was battling knee issues going into the 2009 French Open. "No, I wouldn't say so. Of course, I hear about it. I even heard what Tsonga said.
But I think, losing a match, there's always explanations," Soderling said. "Since it's such a big match, or it was such a big shock that Rafa lost, there's always going to be people speaking about it.
I don't know why Tsonga said it, I have no idea. For sure, during my career, I gave up a couple of times during matches, but I always felt, that if I step on court, I was there to win the match. So I'm not really bothered by it."
Robin Soderling returned to the French Open and made back-to-back finals but once again failed to win it all as he was beaten by Nadal in the final.