Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Federer's Streak Snapped by Soderling

Hell to the no way! 5th seed Robin Soderling delivered yet another huge upset at the French Open defeating defending champion Roger Federer in four sets. Soderling is the first man to outlast Federer in the last 24 straight Grand Slam quarterfinals that Federer has played, snapping the Swiss' impressive streak of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinal appearances! Last year, Soderling made headline news when he became the first man to beat Rafael Nadal at the same tournament. With the win this year against Federer, Soderling has now beaten the #1 ranked French Open defending champion two years in a row. More than impressive!

Federer's loss here puts his #1 ranking in jeopardy, just a week or two shy from surpassing Pete Sampras' overall weeks at #1. Federer now hopes that heavy-favorite Rafael Nadal doesn't win the whole tournament since that is the only result that would make Federer lose his top rank. Federer's reply on his streak ending is a positive one: "Now I have my quarterfinal streak." Gotta love his attitude! With that said, however, this loss might still be a crushing blow to most Federer's fans who saw Federer markedly struggle after winning the Australian Open earlier in the year. Will this continue to Wimbledon and beyond?

As a huge Federer fan, I share in their worries, but I've also made peace with the fact that all streaks end sometime and domination never lasts. Plus need I remind his fans that Federer won both the French Open and Wimbledon last year accomplishing two of his greatest goals, getting a career Grand Slam and surpassing Sampras' major championship tally? After he retook his #1 ranking at Wimbledon last year, I told myself that any wins after this point would be bonus and I've kept that stance. He went on to win Cincinnati and the Australian Open while reaching the finals at the US Open and is only 1-2 week shy of breaking another revered tennis record. Not too shabby for an over-the-hill tennis pro.

So in summary, Robin Soderling d. Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 and guess what, it's not the end of the world!

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