Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Biography of Robin Soderling

Robin Bo Carl Söderling ( born 14 August 1984 in Tibro) is a professional tennis player from Sweden who is currently ranked #5 in the ATP rankings(26/10/2010). Söderling is best known for reaching successive French Open finals in 2009 and 2010.
In both tournaments, he defeated the defending champion en route to the final—Rafael Nadal in 2009 (becoming the first and, to date, only player to defeat Nadal at the French Open), and Roger Federer in 2010 (ending Federer's record streak of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals).
But ironically, it was Federer and Nadal who had beaten Söderling in the 2009 and 2010 French Open finals respectively. He is coached by former world no.2 Magnus Norman. Playing Style and Equipment Söderling's type of game has been described as "brutal". He is known for his competitive drive and powerful game, hitting accurate hard ground strokes.
His serve is heavy and precise, capable of generating a speed of over 140 mph. He can overpower most of his opponents and possesses a very good return game. His double-handed backhand is solid and dependable, while the forehand is regarded as one of the most lethal in today's game. Most of his success has come on faster surfaces (hard courts and indoor carpet), although his best Grand Slam results have occurred at the French Open; this is thought to be due to the heavy conditions and slowness of the clay which allow him more time to set up his powerful shots.
Many people have praised Söderling for his game, saying he is a Grand Slam contender and stable top tenner, though his mental strength and lack of consistency in his game has been his weakness. But in recent years, his mental toughness has improved considerably and this has raised the consistency of his game; much of this has been attributed to the influence of his current coach, former world #2 and 2000 French Open finalist Magnus Norman. Söderling wears Lotto clothing and uses a Head YOUTEK Radical Midplus racquet.
Rivaly With Rafael Nadal Söderling has a noteworthy rivalry with Rafael Nadal originally sparked by a particular incident occurring during a match between the two in 2007. The two met in the third round of Wimbledon in a match that lasted five sets and several days due to rain delays.
Although Nadal won the match, Söderling received considerable media attention for walking off the court while Nadal was preparing to serve to protest Nadal's lengthy time between serves. At the start of the fifth set, Nadal was ready to serve but he didn't realize that Soderling went off to his chair to get a new racquet (on purpose to delay Nadal).
When Soderling went back on court and both were ready to begin the first point, Nadal said to Soderling across the net, "new balls yeah?" and held up his serving ball to show him, which Soderling responded to by "mocking" Nadal's habit of picking at his shorts prior to playing the first point of the final set. Nadal eventually prevailed 6–4, 6–4, 6–7(7), 4–6, 7–5. In 2009 the pair met in a match at the Rome Masters.
Again, a controversial moment took place, where Nadal placed a shot outside the baseline which was then called out by the linesman. Söderling pointed to a mark on the court, but it was clear that it was the incorrect spot where the ball was called out. The umpire left his chair and pointed on the right location yet not the right spot, meaning he ruled the ball to be replayed.
This caused Söderling to lose his temper because the Hawk-Eye replay made it clear that the ball was indeed out. He eventually lost the match 6–1, 6–0. A month later Söderling and Nadal met again at the 2009 French Open. Söderling became the first player ever to defeat Nadal at the French Open by winning in four sets with a score of 6–2, 6–7(2), 6–4, 7–6(2).
The Swede then defeated Nadal again in 2009, in a first-rubber round robin match at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (in London), in straight sets 6–4, 6–4. The pair faced each other once again in Paris in the 2010 French Open final, where Nadal won 6–4, 6–2, 6–4. Twenty-four days later, they played each other again in Wimbledon; their previous Wimbledon meeting at the 2007 infamous third round, five-set match.
In this 2010 match, it was a well contested quarterfinal match on grass where eventual champion Nadal dropped the opening set, but ended up coming back to win the match 3–6, 6–3, 7–6(4), 6–1. Nadal now leads the head to head series at 5–2 against Söderling.

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