Sunday, May 31, 2009

Soderling Leads Nadal 6-2, 2-1 Live Blog, French Open 2009

31 May 2009

I pick up the French Open match betweeen Rafael Nadal and Robin Soderling with  Soderling leading 6-2, 2-1.  This is a battle for a quarterfinal slot at Roland Garros.

Nadal has just broken Soderling's serve in the third game of the second set.  Nadal has just won the fourth game as well, leads 3-1 in the second set.

Soderling serves with an ace, 40-0, fifth game, second set.  40-15, Soderling's backhand return going out. 40-30, another return by Soderling long and out. 40-40, Soderling's return hitting the net and bounced out of court. Advantage and breakpoint Nadal on a Soderling error. Deuce on an error by Nadal.  Advantage now to Soderling who eventually wins game 5.  It's now 3-2, second set.

They're now flashing onscreen the standing record for most consecutive sets won at Roland Garros, Bjorn Borg 41, Rafael Nadal 32.

Nadal serving, game 6.  15-15 on a long return by Soderling.  30-15 unforced error by Soderling, the ball hitting the net. 30-30 unforced error by Nadal.  Deuce.  Nadal wins game 6.  It's now 4-2, second set.

Soderling serving, game 7.  He wins game 7.  It's now 4-3, second set.

Nadal serving, game 8.  0-15, Nadal's return long and out. 0-30 Soderling able to return a  Nadal drop shot. 15-30 unforced error by Soderling.  30-30 powerful serve by Nadal, weak return by Soderling, ball hitting the net. A soft shot by Soderling near the net gets returned beautifully by Nadal, 40-30.  Nadal wins game 8; it's now 5-3, second set.

Soderling serving, game 9.  Soderling leads 30-0. It's now 40-0, unforced error by Nadal. 40-15, Soderling return, long.  Soderling wins game 9 with an ace.  5-4, second set.

Nadal serving, game 10.  15-15.  30-15 unforced error by Soderling, ball going out on the side.  30-30 unforced error by Nadal, ball hitting the net.  30-40 unforced error by Nadal, ball hitting the net.  Breakpoint for Soderling.  Soderling breaks Nadal's serve with an excellent backhand return. 5-5 second set.

Soderling serving, game 11. 15-0.  15-15 on a brilliant return by Nadal. 30-30.  30-40 breakpoint for Nadal. 40-40 beautiful forehand volley by Soderling. Advantage Soderling. Soderling wins the game with an ace. Soderling leads the second set, 6-5.

A major upset by Soderling looms. The crowd is cheering Robin Soderling. Now we'll know what stuff Nadal is really made of.

Nadal serving, game 12.  0-15 persistent attack by Soderling.  15-15 terrific cross-court return by Nadal.  15-30.  Beautiful shot by Nadal, Soderling could not reach it in time, 30-30.  40-30 Nadal, error by Soderling.  Nadal wins game 12.  Second set tied at 6 all.

Tiebreaker.  Nadal 1-0.  2-0, error by Soderling, ball hitting the net.  3-0, another Soderling error. 4-0, successive errors by Soderling.  All of a sudden his endgame is crumbling. 5-0 Nadal's return hits net but bounces over to the other side.  6-0 It's all Nadal, 6 set points. 

6-1 weak forehand return by Nadal. 6-2 another error by Nadal. 7-2 Nadal wins tiebreaker and the second set 7-6.  Nadal has just survived the scare of a lifetime.  He may yet lose this match but it won't be by a shutout.    

Third set.
Game 1. 

Nadal serving.  15-0 error by Soderling.  30-0, crosscourt backhand by Nadal.  40-0 another excellent cross-court backhand by Nadal.  Nadal wraps up game 1 on an error by Soderling.  Leads 1-0, third set.

Soderling serving, game 2.  30-30.  40-30, forehand winner by Soderling.  Deuce, nice forehand return by Nadal.  Advantage Soderling on a powerful volley.  Soderling wins game 2 with an ace.  Score, 1-1, third set.

Nadal serving, game 3.  Double fault by Nadal, 0-15.  15-15 unforced error by Soderling... 40-30 on an error by Soderling, Nadal wins game 3 with an ace.  Nadal leads 2-1, third set.

Soderling serving, game 4.  30-0 after a cross-court return by Soderling. 40-0.  Soderling wins game 4, error by Nadal.  Third set tied, 2 all.

Nadal serving, game 5.  15-0, long return by Soderling. 30-0, Soderling error. 40-0 another Soderling error. Nadal wins game 5, leads third set, 3-2.

Soderling serving, game 6.  30-15. 40-15.  Soderling wins game  6 easily, ties third set, 3-3.

Nadal serving, game 7.  0-30, a forehand winner by Soderling and an error by Nadal. 15-30, long return by Soderling.  15-40 Soderling on a forced error by Nadal.  30-40, forehand winner by Nadal. Soderling wins game 7, leads third set 4-3.

Soderling serving, game 8.  15-15.  15-30, Nadal's return goes out.  15-40 Nadal falls as Soderling attacks the net and produces a winner.  Soderling wins game 8, leads third set 5-3.

Nadal serving, game 9.  0-15, Soderling attacking the net, making Nadal run and wins the point with a soft shot.  15-15 error by Soderling. 30-15 Nadal.  30-30 error by Nadal. 40-30 short return by Soderling.  Nadal wins game 9, Soderling still leads third set, 5-4.

Soderling serving, game 10. 15-0 long return by Nadal. 30-0 forehand winner by Soderling. Another long unforced error by Nadal, long return, 40-0, triple set point for Soderling.  Crowd cheers Soderling. Soderling wins the third set, 6-4.

The score is now 6-2, 7-6, 6-4 Soderling leading 2 sets to 1.

Fourth set

Nadal serving, game 1. 15-15.  30-15, unforced error by Soderling, ball going out at the side. 40-15.  Nadal wins game 1 easily; leads fourth set, 1-0.

Soderling serving, game 2.  15-0, beautiful return by Soderling. 15-15 error by Soderling. 15-30 error again by Soderling, the ball hitting the net.  Crowd cheering Soderling.  40-0 another Soderling ball hitting the net.  Nadal breaks Soderling's serve, leads fourth set, 2-0.

"Nadal won't go away [easily]," the announcer says.  

Nadal serving, game 3.  0-15, long return by Nadal. 0-30.  0-40 Nadal returns long.  Error by Nadal wins game 3 for Soderling.  Nadal still leads fourth set, 2-1.

Soderling serving, game 4.  15-15.  15-30, short return by Nadal.  30-30, short return by Soderling.  Forehand winner by Soderling, 40-30.  Deuce, short return by Soderling. Advantage Soderling, attacking the net with a drop shot. A forehand winner by Soderling wins game 4 tying the fourth set 2 all.

Nadal serving, game 5. 15-0 Nadal with a baseline winner.  30-0 error by Soderling, long return. 40-0 another short return by Soderling. Nadal wins with a cross-court winner, attacking the net.  Nadal leads fourth set, 3-2.
Soderling serving, game 6.  30-0. Those cross-court hits by Soderling have devastated Nadal all day. Soderling wins game 6, ties fourth set, 3 all.

Nadal serving, game 7.  30-15.  Cross-court winner by Nadal, 40-15.  Nadal wins game 7 with a powerful serve; leads fourth set, 4-3.  

Soderling serving, game 8.  15-0, Nadal's return hitting the top of the net. 30-0. 30-15, forehand winner by Nadal.  Forehand winner by Soderling, attacking the net, 40-15.  Another forehand winner by Soderling, wins game 8, ties fourth set at 4 all.

Nadal serving, game 9.  15-0, short return by Soderling.  30-0, long return by Soderling. Another long return by Soderling, 40-0.  40-15, Nadal attacks the net but ball goes outside. Nadal wins game 9 after hitting a forehand winner straight to Soderling who had to move away from the ball.  Nadal apologizes to Soderling, Nadal leads fourth set, 5-4.

Soderling serving.  0-15 Soderling return short.  15-15, Nadal short return.  30-30.  40-30 forehand winner by Soderling as Nadal tried to move back to position.  Soderling wins game 10 via a cross-court forehand winner.  Fourth set tied at 5 all.

Nadal servng, game 11.  0-15 first point to Soderling on a long backhand return by Nadal. Soderling forehand error, 15-15.  Wide return by Soderling, 30-15.  40-15.  Nadal wins on an error by Soderling, short cross-court return. Nadal leads fourth set, 6-5.

Soderling serving, game 12.  15-0, Soderling forehand passing shot as Nadal rushes the net.  15-15, Nadal rushes the net again, short return by Soderling. Crowd chanting, "Soderling!"  15-40 Soderling ace. 30-40, long return by Soderling.  Deuce, forehand winner by Nadal.  Advantage Soderling on a return near the line.  Deuce, error by Soderling.  Advantage Soderling as Nadal's return falls short.  Soderling wins game 12.  Fourth set tied at 6 all.

Tiebreak. Nadal serving.  Soderling wins first point, 1-0.  Bad shot by Nadal, Soderling, 2-0. Wide return by Soderling, 2-1.  Nadal mis-hits a Soderling passing shot, 3-1 Soderling leads. Long cross-court return by Nadal, 4-1.  Crowd cheers.  Soderling now leads 5-1 after a long backhand return by Nadal.  Short return by Nadal, 5 match points for Robin Soderling.   

Forehand winner by Nadal, 6-2, Soderling leads, 4 match points.  Error by Nadal, Soderling wins the fourth set, 7-2.

Soderling beats Nadal, 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6.  Robin Soderling of Sweden has just produced one of the biggest upsets in tennis history, beating world no. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain. Rafael Nadal, prior to this match, has never lost at Roland Garros.



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