Federer Faces Destiny, Soderling Today in French Open Final
by Sean Randall | June 7th, 2009, 9:13 am
  • 144 Comments

Three sets. Just three measly, freaking sets is all that separates Roger Federer from his dream of a French Open title, a Pete Sampras-tying 14th career Grand Slam and who knows what else.

Standing in his way is the 2009 version of Martin Verkerk, Rainer Schuettler and the countless other semi-anonymous players who every now and then poke out of the pack and make a once-in-a-lifetime push into the spotlight, Robin Soderling.

Soderling, though, comes in as a different kind of player. The 24-year-old Swede upset the seemingly invincible Rafael Nadal a Sunday ago, and then backed up the win with impressive victories over Nikolay Dayvdenko and then Fernando Gonzalez in a Friday thriller. Robin’s been playing hot, streaky tennis that can give anyone problems including Federer.

Federer hasn’t been at his best, and today he may not need to be at his best against Soderling who has been playing well above his pay grade. Federer’s been clearly dealing with the nerves, the pressure since the Nadal knock out. But today, while Roger will no doubt be feeling the weight of the moment, one has to wonder just how will Soderling react in the biggest match of his life? Then again, the stakes are much higher for Federer.

Today, Roger is playing for essentially everything. As I said on Monday, this was going to be Federer’s most important week of tennis of his life. Today it culminates and I think he gets it done, straight sets. Pull up chair, history is about to be made.


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144 Comments for Federer Faces Destiny, Soderling Today in French Open Final

Shaky Says:

Wow, nobody’s up and watching this?

Federer’s working the drop shot.


PietjeP Says:

I think everybody must be supporting Fed. Nadal fan, Djoko fan or whomever fan.

This would be great for tennis as a sport!


Tennis Freak Says:

Federer bagels Sod in the 1st set. Wow ! Are we heading for a quick destruction of Sod?


St4r5 Says:

Fed is leading 4 – 0


tenniskitten Says:

Go Sod!


St4r5 Says:

Probably Soderling will give his fight in the 2nd set.


Tennis Freak Says:

Is this final going to be as washout as the last RG final? So far, that’s what it looks like.


NachoF Says:

good start :)


Tennis Freak Says:

First set over in 23 min.? I’m disappointed.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Let’s hope Soderling gets the nerves out. Could he be exhausted and sore as well?
Hope he picks it up and gets his serve going. I want Fed to win, but I’d like him to fight for it!

http://www.TennisVagabond.com


Sean Randall Says:

This is going quick!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Federer freight train….

#14


fed is afraid Says:

good start for roger, can he keep it up?


fed is afraid Says:

remember he had a 6-2 first set against nadal at one of the finals, and we know what happened next.


Tennis Freak Says:

I don’t want tennis to be losing at the cost of somebody’s legacy, but that is what is happening right now. Yet, you cannot blame the guy who’s winning. It is Soderling who’s to be held for spoiling this Final party.


Kimo Says:

For those who wondered how Fed would be dealing with all the pressure…

I see no signs of tension so far, in fact I think this is the least nervous he’s been in a slam final.


NachoF Says:

True, just like it was Federer’s fault to not even put up a fight… I honestly thought he would never even reach the final here again.


NachoF Says:

I meant… last year


Kimo Says:

fed is afraid:

“remember he had a 6-2 first set against nadal at one of the finals, and we know what happened next.”

Ok…now you’re comapring Soderling to Nadal, and that’s just not right.


Tennis Freak Says:

Rain delay, oh crap?


Kimo Says:

did you see what just happened!!!!!

RAFA fans are crazy.


PietjeP Says:

What a disgusting guy on the court there


Tennis Freak Says:

Did that guy intend to hurt Federer? What disgrace ! Where is the security?


Sean Randall Says:

Wowza. A crazed fan with a Spanish(?) flag goes after Roger. Unreal. What else will the tennis Gods throw at him?


Shaky Says:

Ok I left my room for 5 minutes to grab a soda and something happened?

What happened? what guy?


NachoF Says:

no wonder the french crowd doesnt like Nadal.


Kimo Says:

Fed held his nerve after the lil Spanish incident. Thank God for that, coz if that happened to me I would have been shaken a bit.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Glad to see Soderling playing his way back into form!


Kimo Says:

Shaky, a cray Rafa fan carrying a Spanish flag stormed to the court and tried to do something to Fed. He actually came in contact with Fed before security chased him.


NachoF Says:

I would have punched that dude in the face…. its Federers most important match of his life.


Shaky Says:

Spanish Incident? Come on, someone describe the comedy I just missed please!


Cindy_Brady Says:

What the Hell was that?

Looks like the mental ward had an escape!!

Whats next?


Kimo Says:

Soderling is showing better composure in this set, but his fitness seems low compared to other matches. He’s not getting the same pop off his forehand because his feet are a lil heavy.


Shaky Says:

HAHAHA oh man that’s good. Whoever it was, I insist it go on youtube quickly.

I’d be a bit terrified if that happened to me, I’d probably have to flee.


PietjeP Says:

For Fed this set will be crucial. He looks a tad less then in the first set.

But then maybe Sod pulled it together a little too…


Kimo Says:

The dropshot is killing Soderling.

Oh man, this match is different for him. He’s up against a multi-dimensional player for a change.

Before you say anything, Nadal is multi-dimensional is well, but he wasn’t like that in their match.


Cindy_Brady Says:

The Monica Seles stabbing comes to mind.

People are crazy!


Tennis Freak Says:

Fed’s forehand drop shots are paying big time dividends. He is mixing shots pretty well. Soderling looks still clueless.
The 2nd set is just a pint better than the 1st, still below the par of a Final juice.


Shan Says:

This just in – the guy who came on court was paid by Toni


Kimo Says:

Cindy_Brady Said:

“The Monica Seles stabbing comes to mind.

People are crazy!”

Yeah I had flashes of that going through my mind as well. Scary.


Tennis Freak Says:

They will call for rain delay any moment now. Who’s going to benefit from that? Not the spectators.


Kimo Says:

Tennis Freak, the damper the conditions are, the slower they will get, which would play in Fed’s favour since he copes well with changes and it would negate Soderling’s big hitting (he’s not hitting that big today though).


Cindy_Brady Says:

Getting tense in this 2nd set..


Tennis Freak Says:

Last RG final was 108 minutes. This one may not last much longer. Soderling really screwed it up. Had Gonzalez reached the final, instead, it would certainly have been better.


PietjeP Says:

If it goes to a breaker, I feel Sod is going to take it….


Tennis Freak Says:

Kimo, I think the same way, just wanted to confirm.


Kimo Says:

Federer: 3 serves, 3 aces in this tiebreak :)


PietjeP Says:

Boy, was I wrong :)


Kimo Says:

Experience and talent, my friends. Their H2H should have given you a hint :)

Fed aced all his serves in the tiebreak. Need I say more?


NachoF Says:

second set goes Fed


st4r5 Says:

Fed won 2nd set!


Shaky Says:

Yowza with the killer drop shot again.

Why the heck did he not develop that until this year, it’s been really good and downright incredible in this final.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Federer serving outstanding

And the forehand drop shot.

Very impressive!


Ty Says:

That was an absolutely perfect tiebreak by Fed. I’ve never seen him hit a harder serve than 132mph.

He is really peaking for this match.


st4r5 Says:

Let us jump into conclusion friends, another set to go, let our hero concentrate for the 3rd. Then all of us can blast together….


Joe Wisco Says:

that was one great tie breaker…sorry to all you Roger haters out there!


st4r5 Says:

Let us not jump into conclusion friends, another set to go, let our hero TMF concentrate for the 3rd. Then all of us can blast together….


TejuZ Says:

It is a big climb for Soderling now.. fed playing great.. 1st time he won 2 sets in an RG final.


Sean Randall Says:

One set. 24 points.


Kimmi Says:

YES YES..the serving. This is the best tie break federer has played for a long time. Where did all that come from.


Kimo Says:

Shaky Said:

“it’s been really good and downright incredible in this final.”

I completely agree, in fact, I think that it is by far the best dropshot on tour.


Daniel Says:

Wow, This was the best tiebreak I have ever seen from Federer. 4 aces, one drop winner and two balls that he open the court forcing Soderling errors. Just perfect tiebreak, the only point Soderling won was an ace.


Tennis Freak Says:

Fed leads 2 sets to zero.
He has been just spectacular in his serve.
Just 1 set away. A few more minutes from lifting the trophy. 14th on clay. Could it be better than this?
A bucket full of tears of happiness would only enhance the moment of glory.


Kimmi Says:

Too easy, too easy


Ty Says:

Ahhhh, I don’t want Fed to win like that.


Kimo Says:

Soderling is falling apart, just like I predicted yesterday.

fed is afraid and vared are awefully quiet right now :)


st4r5 Says:

It is so amazing! I love this, Fed broke Soderling in the 3rd already!


st4r5 Says:

Fed leads 2 – 0 in the 3rd set. So gooooooodddddd!!!!!


Shaky Says:

Am I crazy or would soderling really do well to take something off his forehand. I understand that going for broke is how he beat nadal, but… he’s spraying forehands as often as he’s hitting winners, probably more so. His forehand is a damn rocket, it’d be a winner even at 80%. he should take it back to 90% and stop hitting them just wide like that. He just coughed up another break on another error.

I don’t remember the last time I saw Federer serving this well. This brings back memories of 06.


st4r5 Says:

I think we have to prepare ourselves to welcome the best tennis player of all time, the greatest of all (GOAT), he is The Mighty Federer (TMF).


youyong Says:

Everything is falling into place for federer like i said… hard to deny destiny here! Fed’s career will be complete today. I hope Nadal can win the US Open to complete his!


Kimo Says:

I was just thinking: If Fed wins the AO next year he will be the only player in history to have won slams on five surfaces.

Just a thought. :)


Ty Says:

Come on Soderling Break back and make a match of it.


NachoF Says:

denied


youyong Says:

Federer is missing the career golden slam though… at least Nadal has a shot at it by winning US Open? some consolation to nadal fans :) hope he recovers for the hardcourt season.


PietjeP Says:

Soderling is not just giving up yet….


NachoF Says:

youyoung,
“Federer is missing the career golden slam”
what is that?


Shaky Says:

I take it back. Soderling is like Tin Cup: he can’t be himself if he’s not going for it all the time. That’s his only shot, at this point he may as well swing to the hilt, no sense changing it up when you’re down two sets and your opponent is in the zone.


Tennis Freak Says:

It is not early any more to declare that Fed has won the French Open 2009 in straight sets, except a few rituals for formality’s sake.
He deservingly adds another brick on the wall of his already insurmountable legacy.
Congratulation to Fed and to all of his well wishers who have been waiting for this moment for freaking 4 years.
Could not be better moment for Agassi, the only other owner of a career Grand Slam,to coronate and induct Federer into the club. Joyful day, indeed !


NachoF Says:

Hey, I just saw a Venezuelan flag :)


st4r5 Says:

It’s 4-2 now for Fed, he just needs another 2 games to soar to immortality, greatness, history….


Kimo Says:

When Fed wins championship point, do you think he’ll fall to the ground like he does in all the other slams? I don’t think he’s the kind of guy who won’t be bothered by having clay all over his clothes :D


Ty Says:

You have a hard on don’t you st4r5?


NachoF Says:

he will fall to his knees without getting clay on his clothes


Kimo Says:

One game…one freakin game


potro Says:

looks like he is about to start crying already


Kimmi Says:

Is federer already crying ??.comon one more game. Can he pull it together and serve it out


Kimmi Says:

Soo nervous for him. One more


st4r5 Says:

One more game and Fed will fall on his knees and cry!!!! as he enters into immortality….


potro Says:

I think he will serve it out now


potro Says:

looks like he is in much control of his emotions, he need to stay calm…


potro Says:

he is loosing all the rallies … not a good sign


NachoF Says:

NO!


Kimmi Says:

C’mon


potro Says:

he need an ace


NachoF Says:

Federer wins!! We have found the GOAT!


Kimmi Says:

the GOAT


potro Says:

he’s done it, cool


st4r5 Says:

Yes, he has entered into immortality!!!


Kimo Says:

the GOAT


Daniel Says:

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS


PietjeP Says:

History


st4r5 Says:

HE IS THE GOAT!!!! THE BEST OF THEM ALL, THE GOD OF TENNIS!!!


TejuZ Says:

yahooooooooooooooooooooooooo
federer won


Kimo Says:

and he tied Sampras on the one slam he never got.

In February we were all heartbroken. Maybe fate wanted us to save our celebrations for the big one :)


st4r5 Says:

Now all Fed-haters will find it very hard to say otherwise!!! Roger Federer is the GOAT!


Kimmi Says:

Great federer great. You are great


TejuZ Says:

wow… long live the ‘King’ .. the King is still alive


Tennis Freak Says:

Dream fulfilled. Career slam and 14th on clay. Fed deserves to cry his heart out of happiness. He absolutely deserves to dump Halle and take some time to mark the celebratation of his biggest achievement.
Congratulations, truly deserving !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Kimo Says:

when was the last time Fed won two clay tournaments in a row? has he ever done it?


TejuZ Says:

am sure.. we’ll see Federer back at his best at wimbledon. The way he served today.. if he can keep that up at wimbledon, he can easily win his 15th GS there


potro Says:

one thing for sure, he will start beating Rafa more often than that


potro Says:

cuz the mental issue is over now, he will feel more confident


TejuZ Says:

yeah.. he deserved this win, just cuz he always kept showing up for the title match all these years. Now hez truly the 3rd best clay courter of all time behind Nadal and Borg.


st4r5 Says:

It is time for mortal tennis players to fear him!


TejuZ Says:

now Fed (king on grass) is the French Open defending champ for the rest of the year and Nadal(king on clay) is the wimbledon defending champ till next month. How Ironic..

And now.. both Fed and Nadal have 2 GS apiece .. but Fed has 2 Runner-up titles, whereas Nadal has none.. So fed has been the better performer at slams for the whole year.


st4r5 Says:

He is the best clay courter now! Borg is already retired, and Nadal did not even make it to the final!!!! He did not even stand there!


st4r5 Says:

Fed is the GOAT!!!!


Daniel Says:

Strangelly, not a single non Fed fan here to congratulate him!


NachoF Says:

Anyone has got the new ranking points for Federer and Nadal?.. I have the feeling that if it werent for the Olympics Nadal would be #2…and those are points he wont be able to defend either


st4r5 Says:

Daniel, that’s because they hate him!!! But it’s alright, our guy, though hated, is the GOAT.


NachoF Says:

The astonishing thing is that not many people hate him, really… just a bunch of retard Nadal fanboys..but the whole world wanted him to win… the fact of the matter is that Federer, aside from being the tennis GOAT is also a pretty cool and likable guy


Daniel Says:

NachoF

I think the rankings will shift before the US Open. Nadal will drop the 800 points from the Olympics and Fed drop 200. But the most important are Masters Series Canada and Cincinati, where last year Fed lost first round and R16. So if he keeps making semis or wins one of those, he can regain n.1, assuming he and Nadal will be in the final of Wimbledon again not knowing who will win.

Tomorrow Nadal wil have 13140 and Fed 11070 points. But Nadal will drop 450 from Queens, which means he will enter Wimby with 12690 pts and Fed 10870 (if he wins Halle he will still drop 200 pts due to last year double points for new rankings this year). The ranking can shift in Wimbedon.


Von Says:

CONGRATULATIONS TO FEDERER on his FO win and 14th GS tying Sampras’ record. And, CONGRATS TO ALL FED FANS on their guy’s phenomenal win!! Way to Go Federer!!!!!!


fed is afraid Says:

congrats to roger and his fans
14 slams
not bad


Kimo Says:

Come on Fed, win the AO next year and become the only player in history to win slams on 5 surfaces.


Von Says:

CONGRATULATIONS TO FEDERER on his FO win and 14th GS tying Sampras’ record. And, CONGRATS TO ALL FED FANS on their guy’s phenomenal win!! Way to Go Federer!!!!!!


Kimmi Says:

Thanks Von and “fed is afraid” great day indeed


Cindy_Brady Says:

I guess the Samprites are going to have a harder argument for him being goat now.

Congratulations Roger Federer!


osazone4real Says:

Congrats to Federer,he was already the best tennis player in my opinion even b4 he won this,but this cements it – coming from a hardcore rafa fan


TejuZ Says:

Thanks Von .. and ‘fed is afraid’ .. i guess he did deserve it this year, since he had to earn it… even though he dint have to face rafa in the final.

But yeah, luck was sure on his side this year.. weather turned bad soon after he won the match and it started pouring. Had it gone to 4th set.. the match cud have gone to next day.


vared Says:

Congrats to Fed fans even though my guy lost.


ertorque Says:

Being a Roger fan, his win sure makes my ‘night’(it’s 11.30pm here).
Hope he will win a few more GS……………..


huh Says:

Believe it or not but I’m satisfied beyond description for Fed’s win. I’m proud to be his fan! :-) But my fellow Fed fans should enjoy this moment rather than indulging in putting down Pete. After all Pete’s one of the greatest standard-setters for Fed !


huh Says:

I may make fellow Fedfans angry but Pete might very well have not won FO for the reason that in those days the difference between the speed of grass and clay was huge but now surfaces have slowed down and adapting to clay is easier.
You can’t deny this.


huh Says:

And b.t.w Fed still has a lot to do if he’s really to be accorded the almost mythical GOAT status. Fed’s a very lopsided H2H against main rival Rafa and if, God forbid, he loses some more slam finals to Rafa, then he’d be anything but GOAT ! Got it?


gonesy Says:

Ridiculous point by huh above. You can’t deny that surfaces have slowed down but wouldn’t this mean Sampras would have won less Grand Slams not more?!!


Von Says:

Tejuz: “Thanks Von .. and ‘fed is afraid’ .. i guess he did deserve it this year, since he had to earn it… even though he dint have to face rafa in the final.

“But yeah, luck was sure on his side this year.. weather turned bad soon after he won the match and it started pouring. Had it gone to 4th set.. the match cud have gone to next day.”

You’re so very welcome. I know you’re one of the die-hard Fed fans who didn’t do a cross-over when things got a little bad, so I’m really happy for you. Also, you’re one of the posters I respect here since you never meddle and/or take sides — so kudos to you, my friend!!!

I believe in destiny, and the stars, weather, et al., were all aligned for Federer to win
the FO, ergo, WAY TO GO FEDERER !!!!


TejuZ Says:

Thanks Von, Appreciate your kind remarks. I can say the respect is mutual :-) and there are quite a few number of other posters here as well whom i respect like Grendel, SensationalSafin, Jane, Zola (i know u have some differences with her), FOT, Gordo etc.. i have seen all of you posting here for i dont know how many years.. probably 2 or 3yrs. I really enjoy reading all you posts.

BTW, I have also replied to you on the other main thread.


Von Says:

Tejuz;

You’re welcome. I’ve been posting here for 18 months and I still feel like a newbie. My differences with other posters are just that ‘differences’, but I don’t know if you’ll believe this, I don’t hold grudges in the least bit — it’s not in my character to do so. However, I do try to distance myself from those I find to be arbitrary, but it’s more for self-preservation, rather than dislike. I get into a “Danger Will Robinson” mode, do you remember that TV series, “Lost in Space”? I come here to take a breather from a very mentally driven job and this provides an outlet for me. I remembered in the past when I’m working late in the night, we’d be the only two posting to each other, so thanks for keeping me company, and from falling asleep. LOL.

BTW, do you remember that Djoko poster, Branimir “you’ll be shocked, twice”? And, your reply: “only twice”? I think we both had some good laughs from that one. I wonder whatever happened to him. Catch ya later.

BTW, I have also replied to you on the other main thread, so it seems we’re doing a dance here.


huh Says:

Really gonesy? I mean I’m sure you are among one of those who kept thinking that Fed’d never beat Nadal again in a slam, but I’m among the rarest of those rare who still never gave up the hope of Fed winning RG beating Rafa enroute even after the last year’s disaster there! And by the way, I must say that you were unable to grasp what I said. I’m absolutely right and it’s you who aren’t. At that times grass was much more faster and he was a complete player of fast surfaces then. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that he’s done amazing in his own time in those fast courts of Wim, USO and AO but he couldn’t do that well in FO. Moreover that was also the reason why the natural and great clay courters like Lendl and Milander etc could never win Wimbledon. Pete Sampras, Lendl, Wilander etc were extremely strong mentally but it was not enough for them to win the FO-WIM duo at the same time because if you had a great clay court game, Wim was too difficult and if you had a game for fast courts, then, then Fo was too difficult. It was just too freaking difficult then. And I’m sure in the near future, you may very well see more and more of the career slams coming from the players, at least much more frequently then it used to happen in the past. That’s why I’d suggest the Sampras put-downers to take it easy!


huh Says:

Really gonesy? I mean I’m sure you are among one of those who kept thinking that Fed’d never beat Nadal again in a slam, but I’m among the rarest of those rare who still never gave up the hope of Fed winning RG beating Rafa enroute even after the last year’s disaster there! And by the way, I must say that you were unable to grasp what I said. I’m absolutely right and it’s you who aren’t. At that times grass was much more faster and Pete was a complete player of fast surfaces then. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that he’s done amazing in his own time in those fast courts of Wim, USO and AO but he couldn’t do that well in FO. Moreover that was also the reason why the natural and great clay courters like Lendl and Milander etc could never win Wimbledon. Pete Sampras, Lendl, Wilander etc were extremely strong mentally but it was not enough for them to win the FO-WIM duo at the same time because if you had a great clay court game, Wim was too difficult and if you had a game for fast courts, then, then Fo was too difficult. It was just too freaking difficult then. And I’m sure in the near future, you may very well see more and more of the career slams coming from the players, at least much more frequently then it used to happen in the past. That’s why I’d suggest the Sampras put-downers to take it easy!


gonesy Says:

2 words for you – Bjorn Borg


gonesy Says:

A reasonable point about career slams coming more frequently from now on though. Surfaces are slower and there aren’t many grass court specialists e.g. Krajicek around anymore for instance. All I’m saying is Pistol wouldn’t have been so dominant at Wimbledon if the surface was more like it is now, meaning less Grand Slams for him overall.

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