Former world No. 4 Robin Soderling has revealed that if he could get back one of his two French Open finals it would be the one player against Swiss tennis superstar Roger Federer. In 2009, the Swede became the first player ever to beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros as he handed the Spaniard a loss in four sets to progress into the quarterfinal.
After a shock Nadal win, Soderling continued his strong play and beat Nikolay Davydenko in the quarterfinal and Fernando Gonzalez in the semifinal respectively, to make his maiden Grand Slam final. In the French Open final -- Soderling met former world No.
1 Federer -- but he couldn't clinch another shock win as he lost to the Swiss in three sets. "Oooh! I would probably choose to play Roger again. Against Roger the first year, I was physically feeling well, I was playing well, but mentally I wasn't really ready.
Everybody spoke about Roger and he played I don't know how many Grand Slam finals before that one. That was the first Grand Slam final for me and I was really not experienced enough," Soderling told The Times of India in a telephonic chat.
Robin Soderling says he wasn't as fresh in 2010 as he was in 2009
In 2010, Soderling returned to the French Open and proved that his 2009 run wasn't a fluke as he made back-to-back finals at Roland Garros. This time, awaiting in the final the Swede was Spanish tennis superstar Nadal, who was determined to make amends for the loss he suffered a year earlier.
World No. 2 Nadal didn't fail to deliver as he handed Soderling a straight-set loss to win the French Open title in 2010. "Against Rafa the year after, I think mentally I was, for sure, ready to win a Grand Slam. And I believed in myself, but that had been a more physically demanding year.
I was really tired. Again, to beat Rafa, I would have had to play the way I did the year before and unfortunately, I didn't reach that level and then he was just too good. So, yeah, if I could play one again, I would probably play against Roger," Soderling said. Unfortunately for Soderling, he played for only two more years and he never won a Grand Slam title.