I woke up today, checked some tennis sites, and had my jaw hit the desk and I let out a very audible “OH MY GOD!”. It was that shocking. Nadal lost at the French Open. In the 4th round, to Robin Soderling! You know, I’m a die hard Federer fan but that doesn’t mean I hate Nadal. I do consider myself a fan of Nadal actually, he’s just not my favorite tennis player. But this was indeed a disappointing and very stunning loss.
Nadal Loses to Soderling?!
What bothered me was that the crowd was totally behind Soderling. With Nadal, here’s a guy who’s always been a hard worker, is #1 in the world, has won 4 straight FO titles, and the crowd has no love for him. I mean, come on! Show some respect! I don’t understand why the crowd wouldn’t cheer for a player who’s proven himself to be a champion. I kind of feel sorry for Nadal in that respect. But yes, Soderling played extremely well so he deserves all the credit for the win.
Believe it or not, I wanted Federer to meet Nadal in the final. Because if Fed is gonna win it, he should do it against the best. But that doesn’t matter, Nadal is out and that’s something Fed can’t control, nor should he concern himself with it right now. He should focus on one match at a time. Though the pressure on Federer to win it all now is immense and the chatter about it has already started. We’ll see whether he can capitalize on this and enter the hall of tennis immortality. Well, he’s already in there but people think he’ll finally lock up the “greatest of all time” (GOAT) label. Getting the career slam and tying Sampras’ 14 slams by winning the 1 slam Sampras never even came close to winning.
Though Federer will have to pick up his game. I don’t think we’ve seen his best so far, he’s had some trouble in his last 2 matches. This is his golden opportunity but he should not be looking towards winning the title already. He still has 4 matches to win.
And earlier in the week, also another shock upset, Djokovic losing to frickin Kohlschreiber in straights. That’s 2 of the top contenders Federer likely would have faced, now out of the tournament. Though there are still dangerous seeds in the draw. The other side of the draw is wide open with Murray, Davydenko, Del Potro, Gonzo, and Tsonga battling it out. Roddick has done well but I don’t think he has what it takes to beat Fed on clay and that’s if he manages to get past Monfils. Actually I think Monfils might give Federer trouble, if not create another major upset. It’ll definitely be an interesting second week. All eyes on Federer and towards next Sunday.
On the women’s side, Dinara Safina has just demolished every single opponent she’s faced. She’s made it into the quarters, while dropping just 5 games. And as I expected, Ivanovic is out. I hate to be so frank, but she has really sucked since winning FO last year. And Sharapova is doing well, considering this is her first major tournament back after her shoulder injury.