Soderling stuns Nadal at ATP Finals debut

09:04, November 24, 2009      

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Swede World No. 9 Robin Soderling clinched a stunning victory over World No. 2 Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4in his debut here on Monday at the ATP World Tour Finals.


Robin Soderling of Sweden serves to Rafael Nadal of Spain during their ATP World Tour Finals first round tennis match in London November 23, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


This is the second win in a row the Swede imposed upon the Spaniard after his record-written triumph five months ago at the French Open.

"It's always fun to play against a good player. I always enjoy playing against the top guys. Nadal is for sure one of them," said Soderling, who grabbed the chance to substitute World No. 6 Andy Roddick to perform in London as the American declared his withdrawal due to injury last Tuesday.


Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Robin Soderling of Sweden during their ATP World Tour Finals first round tennis match in London November 23, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


The season finale's debutant Soderling opened his first match strong as he broke Nadal's serve in the second game. Although the 23-year-old Spanish wunderkind returned a break in the fifth game, he withered in the tenth game and allowed a 6-4 loss in the first set.


Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Robin Soderling of Sweden during their ATP World Tour Finals first round tennis match in London November 23, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


Soderling, the first ever to beat Nadal at Roland Garros this June, kept utilizing his big forehand in the second set and chase done game back quickly in the fourth game after surrender a serve in the third. And again in the tenth game, Soderling tamed his archrival in his second match point.

"I managed to play really well in the important points today, which is something you have to do if you want to beat the top guys," said the 25-year-old Swede.

Nadal was not much dismayed by the result. "I played okay. But in the important moments, I didn't have this necessary calm."

Solderling forced an unexpected exit of Grand Slam favorite Nadal at Roland Garros in the fourth round, who had never been defeated in the French Open since 2005, but lost to Swiss Roger Federer in the final.

Nadal downplayed revenge over his French Open snap this time. "I don't believe in revenges. Every match is a different match. I didn't thought, not even one second, about the Roland Garros match."

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