In an interview to Express, the former world No. 4 Robin Soderling commented on his 2009 French Open final loss to Roger Federer. The Swede was beaten in straight sets by the Basel native. In that tournament, Soderling had beaten Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.
“For me, Roger was always my most difficult opponent. Not necessarily because he's a better player than Nadal or Djokovic but his game really did not suit my game. Against other top players, they're extremely good but at least for me, I knew what to expect.
[But] against Roger, it was difficult”. "I don't think I've ever been happy for my opponents [straight after a loss] because I really wanted to win. But after a while looking back, that's the only time he won French Open and I think a player like Roger, he's arguably the best player in history.
I'm happy for him that he won the French Open. It's just a shame it had to be against me”. In the same time, Soderling would have liked to play better: “I played maybe my worst match [of the French Open] in the final.
I wouldn’t say that even if I played my best match I would have beaten Roger that day. But I think, going into the match all of a sudden it was a Grand Slam final. Before it was like a fourth round or semi-finals or whatever.
But then all of a sudden I realised ‘OK this is the final of the Grand Slam and I have a chance’. And I was not experienced enough to perform that day I think. Roger had played so many Grand Slams already back then.
He’d been at that stage so many times. I would say mentally I wasn’t really prepared enough or experienced enough”.