Roddick Wins, Nadal Angrily Tops Soderling at Wimbledon

Posted on July 5, 2007

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal finally finished off No. 28 seed Robin Soderling Wednesday at Wimbledon, ending a contentious match that saw both players pushing each other's buttons in a five-set 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(9), 4-6, 7-5 contest.

"He's a strange guy," Nadal said of Soderling, who taunted the Spaniard during the match by pulling on the back of his pants, mimicking Nadal's frequent crack-tugging. "I've said 'Hi' to him at least seven times since I've been on the tour and he's never answered back. I asked other players about it. It doesn't only happen to me."

In his post-match Nadal also complained about Soderling ignoring him after a fall during a point, and the Swede's fist-pumping even during net-cord point wins.

"He must have been in his complaining mood today," Soderling said. "If my opponent gets a lucky shot and he doesn't say, 'I'm sorry,' I don't care. For me, it's OK. Why should I say I'm sorry when it's the happiest moment of my life?"

No. 3 seed Andy Roddick was also a winner Wednesday, finishing off a straight-set win over Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu.

"Today was little spotty. I could have been a little bit tighter," Roddick said. "But overall I think it was my best match. It was pretty impressive. So to get through him in straight sets I thought was a good thing."

Other winners on the day were No. 12 Richard Gasquet beating French countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, and No. 4 Novak Djokovic outlasting unseeded German Nicolas Kiefer 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(5).

"I knew that he's going to be a difficult match because he didn't lose a set until the third round," Djokovic said of Kiefer. "And, considering the fact we played for five days one match, it was very frustrating for both of us. So I think it was more a matter of mental strength than anything else."

Djokovic will next meet former Wimbledon champ Lleyton Hewitt.

Scheduled for Thursday hoping to avoid the rains are (1) Roger Federer vs. (20) Juan Carlos Ferrero, (16) Lleyton Hewitt vs. (4) Novak Djokovic, (3) Andy Roddick vs. (12) Richard Gasquet, (14) Mikhail Youzhny vs. (2) Rafael Nadal, (6) Nikolay Davydenko vs. (10) Marcos Baghdatis, and (7) Tomas Berdych vs. (19) Jonas Bjorkman.

"I have never beaten Roddick," Gasquet said. "I have no pressure. I have nothing to lose against him tomorrow. I have to play my game but for sure he's the favorite. But I'm sure I can play a good match."