FRENCH OPEN: SODERLING SENDS FEDERER PACKING
Robin Soderling produced a stunning upset for the second year running at the French Open as he defeated world number one and reigning champion Roger Federer in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old Swede gained revenge for defeat in last year's final with a 3-6 6-3 7-5 6-4 win that ends Federer's incredible run of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals.
It also opens up the possibility that, should Rafael Nadal win the title, the Swiss will lose the top ranking just a week before equalling Pete Sampras's record of 286 weeks at number one.
For Soderling, it gives further proof that his shock defeat of Nadal at Roland Garros last year was anything but a flash in the pan.
He had been expected to provide Federer with his first serious test of the tournament but a head-to-head record of 0-12 suggested Soderling might again find the Swiss a challenge he just could not overcome.
Federer came out in blistering form as he dominated the opening set, dropping just two points on serve and converting his fourth break point in game eight as he swept through it in 32 minutes.
When Federer earned his fifth break point of the day at the start of the second set, it seemed that the contest might be as good as done within 40 minutes.
However, the first serve that had abandoned Soderling for much of the first set returned just in time as he sent down a heavy delivery to see off the danger and change the momentum of the match.