To mix my retro T.V. references: “Holy Upset, Batman!”
Robin beat Rafa. . .at Roland Garros. . .in the round of 16. . .in four sets.
Okay, deep breath: Robin Soderling beat Rafael Nadal in the Round of 16 at Roland Garros today: 6-2. 6-7 (2), 6-4, 7-6 (2).
Anyone else feeling a little dizzy?
I caught part of the presser on live stream, and Rafa basically said “I didn’t play my best tennis and I hit the ball too short.” A succinct analysis, no?
Soderling’s take: “He’s just another player on tour.”
WOW. Here are some of my added thoughts, as I try to comprehend what I just witnessed:
1. Rafa is so regretting playing Madrid right now. He brushed off the “over-scheduling” question in the presser, but I know Ion Tiriac’s photo is going on his dartboard.
2. Robin Soderling, Evil Genius? Has he been plotting this match ever since he got under Rafa’s skin at the 2007 Wimbledon? (*See youtube video below) Their only other meeting since then was this year in the Rd. of 16 of Rome – where Rafa CREAMED Soderling like pickled herring: 6-1, 6-0. (Although some say the match was much harder fought than the scoreline indicates.) Still, how the heck do you go from losing to Rafa 1 and 0 in Rome to beating him in 4 sets at Roland Garros? A direct line to the Devil, obviously.
3. This French Open has some freaky deaky mojo: Djokovic and Nadal go out one after the other, Roddick is into the second week, Murray can play on clay, Monfils’s knees are miraculously cured, as is Sharapova’s shoulder. Does anyone else have a funny feeling that there are more upsets to come?
4. How much pressure does Roger Federer have on him now? The two favorites are out and now he’s SUPPOSED to win. I bet he never imagined a scenario like this one – is he prepared, mentally, to suddenly become the tournament favorite (and the G.O.A.T.)?
5. Elena Dementieva, Tennis Oracle (click here)
6. The odds of a Frenchman winning here have gone WAY UP. And I’m kind of excited about it, except I want Roger to win. Sorry, Jo-Willy.
7. How dumb was NBC to put on Meet the Press instead of live tennis? Biggest tennis upset in years (Jim Courier called it the “tennis match of the year”) and U.S. residents are forced to watch via semi-bootlegged “live filmstrip.” Pathetic!
8. If it’s a Murray/Robredo final, I’m boycotting!
I was going to call this post “French Open Apocalypse” but a wise person in our Tennis Party told me to save that headline in case Soderling actually wins the tournament. Shiver! The Twilight Zone is creepy enough:
Rafael Nadal skids out of the French Open: AP Photo/Bernat Armangue via Daylife