Soderling’s length of shot, especially on his forehand side, kept Nadal at bay throughout the match. After winning the first set, Soderling held his nerve especially while serving 2-3 in the second set. The game took eleven minutes and Soderling wasted multiple chances to close it out before finally doing so.
With Nadal serving to stay in the match at 4-5, Soderling stayed with Nadal during a very long rally and eventually forced a match point. Soderling’s forehand went long on the next point but he managed to get another match point with a backhand winner. The next point saw Nadal push a forehand long sealing the win for Soderling who let out a howl of delight.
After the match Soderling said, “I managed to play really well on the important points and served well throughout. There’s a long way to go but I’ve got off to a great start. Winning against the world number two is not bad. I’ve got to take one game at a time and hopefully come Sunday I will be pleased with how I’ve done.”
It’s a great win for Soderling but I’m a little perturbed at the use of the words “shock” and “surprise” by some over Nadal losing. Nadal has not played his best late in the season and Soderling was not in awe of Nadal or the surroundings. Whether Soderling can build on this win during the rest of the event remains to be seen, but he certainly proved his last minute arrival in London was not a fluke.
BTW, do you think Soderling could play a part in the “Twilight” movies? He certainly has the “fangs” for it.