What do you truly believe about the Nadal/Soderling 2009 FO Match?

What do you truly believe about the Nadal/Soderling 2009 FO Match?

  • Soderling was in God-mode and Rafa's level wasn't good enough to stay with him.

    Votes: 100 74.6%
  • Rafa's loss was primarily due to a drop in Nadal's level (due to injury/fatigue/psychology)

    Votes: 34 25.4%

  • Total voters
    134

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Option 1 is the more obvious of the 2 and the one most of us have gone for (including me).

The real conundrum for me is why he couldn't carry that Nadal destroying form through to the final? If he had, he would now have a Grand Slam title in his resumé and Federer would be the only 1 of the Big 3 not to complete the CGS (which would have cast some doubt on his claims to goathood).
 

Mark-Touch

Professional
Assuming he wasn't really injured much (so it wouldn't get worse by then) + sunnier weather would help too. Certainly different mentality, don't see Nadal playing a poor 1st set in that case, which is a big change.
I see the same results, for any round that fortnight. Sod was in revenge mode.
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
Option 1 is the more obvious of the 2 and the one most of us have gone for (including me).

The real conundrum for me is why he couldn't carry that Nadal destroying form through to the final? If he had, he would now have a Grand Slam title in his resumé and Federer would be the only 1 of the Big 3 not to complete the CGS (which would have cast some doubt on his claims to goathood).
Yeah, Sod should have done this in 2009:
 

Mark-Touch

Professional
I remember the match like it was just yesterday.
I thought I had died and gone to heaven! :)
It was so glorious.

Here's the thing though.
I thought surely the ATP players would either:

A. Go to school on the match.
Take the video and study it with a fine tooth comb.
Learn the Sod secret to beating Nadal.

B. Develop a massive topspin FH shot and give Nadal his own medicine
on clay.

But it never came to pass.
 

Mark-Touch

Professional
Option 1 is the more obvious of the 2 and the one most of us have gone for (including me).

The real conundrum for me is why he couldn't carry that Nadal destroying form through to the final? If he had, he would now have a Grand Slam title in his resumé and Federer would be the only 1 of the Big 3 not to complete the CGS (which would have cast some doubt on his claims to goathood).
Thankfully he had that brain fart for the entire final match. :)
 

van_Loederen

Semi-Pro
I remember the match like it was just yesterday.
I thought I had died and gone to heaven! :)
It was so glorious.

Here's the thing though.
I thought surely the ATP players would either:

A. Go to school on the match.
Take the video and study it with a fine tooth comb.
Learn the Sod secret to beating Nadal.

B. Develop a massive topspin FH shot and give Nadal his own medicine
on clay.

But it never came to pass.
because it's nonsense?
 
Here are a couple of my observations.

1. Soderling was recently destroyed on clay by Nadal by playing it conservatively. It looked like Soderling went for broke on every shot at RG. He was absolutely clobbering forehands with full force every time. And this one time, his shots were almost always landing in. It reminds me of a home run hitter that hits 5 home runs in a two game stint, but then only hits 10 more during the other 160 games.

2. Some of Soderling's serves were in the 140-145 range. He was bombing serves hard enough that didn't allow Nadal to return them with interest. Soderling also hit some really hard 2nd serves as well.

3. I remember at some point during the match, Soderling had converted either 3 of 4 or 4 out of 4 break points. I forget which. But the announcers mentioned it a few times. But I was dumbfounded that he was converting 75+% of his break points against the clay GOAT. I.e, this is something that would never happen again. Had Soderling been at 20% or lower on break points, then he probably loses the match.

Soderling went for broke. It really paid off on break points, which made a massive difference on the final result.
Interesting observations.
Could the high BP conversion be attributable to Nadal’s tightness? Nadal was so shocked emotionally that he wasn’t mentally prepared to play a close match against a bully.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Interesting observations.
Could the high BP conversion be attributable to Nadal’s tightness? Nadal was so shocked emotionally that he wasn’t mentally prepared to play a close match against a bully.
I think that Nadal was shocked. Soderling caught an unprepared Nadal, who was also not quite on his game. I still believe that Soderling was the only one capable of beating the mediocre Nadal at the 2009 FO. It took that kind of performance. Also, Soderling maybe goes 2-10 vs Nadal overall, had they played that many more times. Soderling vs Nadal has a Safin vs Federer type of feel to it. I think that Fed was either 9-2 or 10-2 vs Safin. I think that a healthy Soderling vs Nadal would have ended up similarly.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
I think that Nadal was shocked. Soderling caught an unprepared Nadal, who was also not quite on his game. I still believe that Soderling was the only one capable of beating the mediocre Nadal at the 2009 FO. It took that kind of performance. Also, Soderling maybe goes 2-10 vs Nadal overall, had they played that many more times. Soderling vs Nadal has a Safin vs Federer type of feel to it. I think that Fed was either 9-2 or 10-2 vs Safin. I think that a healthy Soderling vs Nadal would have ended up similarly.
I think Soderling post FO 2009 had great chances to beat Nadal on hard. Can’t quite remember how Sod was on grass.

But they could have played 100 more times on clay and Sod wouldn’t have won once more

But with his silent lifetime ban (or incurable mono), we’ll never know
 

NLBwell

Legend
Soderling was just amazing. I don't know how many voters actually watched that match from start to finish, but it was just amazing ball-bludgeoning from start to finish for Soderling. Sometimes you will see a player hit a streak like that for a set or so, but what was truly amazing was that he kept doing it throughout the match, even after losing a set. I don't remember seeing anything like it. It was absolutely riveting viewing.

For those who say Nadal was not playing well, just look at the scores of the previous rounds, he was dominating at the top of his game, straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 versus Lleyton Hewitt in the previous round.


That was 10 years ago. That Nadal has managed to play top-level tennis for this long is terrific.
As someone who has been out of playing tennis for 2 years and struggling to get back in the game due to mononucleosis, I feel bad that Soderling's career was cut short. Of course, "We'll alway have Paris."
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Is it so hard for Nadal fans to admit? If you watch the match the inescapable conclusion is that Sod would have beaten anyone that day. Dude was playing out of his mind.
Yes, this is why Nadal has only lost 2 BO5 matches on clay in his entire life. If Nadal actually shows up, he wins. Period.
 
There should be a third option. A combination of factors.

A. Soderling was not necessarily in God mode, just playing his A game.

B. Soderling’s playing style, with big flattish groundies off both wings gives Nadal trouble.

C. Soderling’s height and comfort level on high balls helps him to be able to meet Nadal’s shots higher than most players, which in turn helps him with court positioning because he can more easily take balls on the rise with extra time to avoid bad bounces.

D. Soderling’s racquet setup, with dense pattern strung tight and massive 390 swingweight, is ideal for immunizing him against being bothered by Nadal’s unique rpm level.

E. Nadal’s average level was not good enough on that particular day to beat an unfavorable matchup playing his A game.
If all of the points you enumerate here were true, then why is the H2H with Nadal so heavily skewed in Nadal’s favor (especially on clay)? The only 3 sets Soderling ever won against Rafa were in this match. He couldn’t take a single set in two other FO matches and of course their Rome match.
Wouldn’t Soderling’s height and ball-striking style have troubled Nadal in ALL of their matches?
 
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octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
I remember the match like it was just yesterday.
I thought I had died and gone to heaven! :)
It was so glorious.

Here's the thing though.
I thought surely the ATP players would either:

A. Go to school on the match.
Take the video and study it with a fine tooth comb.
Learn the Sod secret to beating Nadal.

B. Develop a massive topspin FH shot and give Nadal his own medicine
on clay.

But it never came to pass.
Instead, Sod learned some new things during a year. Oh, heavenly day:

 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
That clay was surprisingly fast. It was almost as if the clay was sped up deliberately to stop a certain player from winning and increase players chances of winning.
Why did they only do it once then ? Why not year after year ?
 

Subway Tennis

Hall of Fame
Nadal was off on the day (imo). Putting injury to one side, we know he had significant off-court distractions at the time, and that surely affected him.

With that said, Soderling's extraordinary level of play was the biggest defining factor in the match (imo).

I remember watching the match (Nadal is my favourite active player) and thinking if Rafa DID have to lose, let it be to someone playing such inspired, fearless tennis.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Soderling was just amazing. I don't know how many voters actually watched that match from start to finish, but it was just amazing ball-bludgeoning from start to finish for Soderling. Sometimes you will see a player hit a streak like that for a set or so, but what was truly amazing was that he kept doing it throughout the match, even after losing a set. I don't remember seeing anything like it. It was absolutely riveting viewing.

For those who say Nadal was not playing well, just look at the scores of the previous rounds, he was dominating at the top of his game, straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 versus Lleyton Hewitt in the previous round.

That was 10 years ago. That Nadal has managed to play top-level tennis for this long is terrific.
As someone who has been out of playing tennis for 2 years and struggling to get back in the game due to mononucleosis, I feel bad that Soderling's career was cut short. Of course, "We'll alway have Paris."
Paris was where he enjoyed his biggest success. In addition to his famous win over Nadal at 2009 RG, he won his only Masters title the following year just down the road in Bercy.
 

Jonas78

Legend
We can chuckle but there’s Big 3 Peak and Nadal’s clay peak. One is a notch higher.
Well the best version of Rafa would beat the best version Soderling on clay.

I really dont understand the people saying "Soderling would beat anyone that day". Wouldnt you say the same thing about 08-Rafa? That he would beat anyone in that FO08-final? So if 08-Rafa meets 09-Sod noone lose? :oops:

If you claim Soderling was beating anyone that day, what you really are saying is that it is the highest level of play on clay ever.
 
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Well the best version of Rafa would beat the best version Soderling on clay.

I really dont understand the people saying "Soderling would beat anyone that day". Wouldnt you say the same thing about 08-Rafa? That he would beat anyone in that FO08-final? So if 08-Rafa meets 09-Sod noone lose? :oops:

If you claim Soderling was beating anyone that day, what you really are saying is that it is the highest level of play on clay ever.
It is the highest level of play on clay ever or second depending on how one feels about Panatta in 1976.
 
If all of the points you enumerate here were true, then why is the H2H with Nadal so heavily skewed in Nadal’s favor (especially on clay)? The only 3 sets Soderling ever won against Rafa were in this match. He couldn’t take a single set in two other FO matches and of course their Rome match.
Wouldn’t Soderling’s height and ball-striking style have troubled Nadal in ALL of their matches?
Because Soderling’ usual level is lower than Nadal’s usual level, and clay court tennis tends to amplify a gap in level between two players, making it harder for an underdog to win a set. He can only win in the rare case when his rarer A game shows up but Nadal is simply average for him. That’s true of most upsets. Simple as that.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
I don't think I've ever rewatched the match. Not to criticize the question, but does it matter? Upsets happen in all sports. Period.
To what degree Rafa was having an off day or Soderling was zoning, I don't know, but they're essentially two sides of the same coin.

These guys aren't machines. Rafa has been ridiculously great at RG, only losing twice and having to withdraw once in 14 attempts. Both losses and the withdrawal are part of his record, and it doesn't matter whether he was peak, prime, distracted, injured or whatever - his opponents were better on those two occasions. Period.

It shouldn't matter, but I am a huge Rafa fan. I'm also a huge fan of tennis, and quite a few sports.
 

Raining hopes

Hall of Fame
I don't think I've ever rewatched the match. Not to criticize the question, but does it matter? Upsets happen in all sports. Period.
To what degree Rafa was having an off day or Soderling was zoning, I don't know, but they're essentially two sides of the same coin.

These guys aren't machines. Rafa has been ridiculously great at RG, only losing twice and having to withdraw once in 14 attempts. Both losses and the withdrawal are part of his record, and it doesn't matter whether he was peak, prime, distracted, injured or whatever - his opponents were better on those two occasions. Period.

It shouldn't matter, but I am a huge Rafa fan. I'm also a huge fan of tennis, and quite a few sports.
OP's behavior in this thread is quite strange .
He already has his mind made up and even is going off on posters who are saying something substantially different than what he is implying them to have said.

Soderling did play at a stratospheric level ,mixed with proper ball bashing which actually was error free.An uncommon combination which is enough to blow people off the court.


Maybe not injured Nadal might have found a way. But it still won't be easy.And it won't be the first time Rafa would have been challenged in bo5 on clay. Nole,Fed,Mathieu ,Isner have challenged him.


The OP has taken it as an personal offence that people appreciate Soderling for the upset,a lesser name and forever second tier player, which he considers a fluke. But anyone with basic tennis understanding can see how well the swede played.


Yes Nadal from the just the two years before (07,08) or the year after(2010) would have beaten him. But nobody should question that Soderling played abnormally well that day.
 
Because Soderling’ usual level is lower than Nadal’s usual level, and clay court tennis tends to amplify a gap in level between two players, making it harder for an underdog to win a set. He can only win in the rare case when his rarer A game shows up but Nadal is simply average for him. That’s true of most upsets. Simple as that.
Points A and E are the only ones that are level dependent. The other stuff is fundamental.
 

icedevil0289

G.O.A.T.
OP's behavior in this thread is quite strange .
He already has his mind made up and even is going off on posters who are saying something substantially different than what he is implying them to have said.

Soderling did play at a stratospheric level ,mixed with proper ball bashing which actually was error free.An uncommon combination which is enough to blow people off the court.


Maybe not injured Nadal might have found a way. But it still won't be easy.And it won't be the first time Rafa would have been challenged in bo5 on clay. Nole,Fed,Mathieu ,Isner have challenged him.


The OP has taken it as an personal offence that people appreciate Soderling for the upset,a lesser name and forever second tier player, which he considers a fluke. But anyone with basic tennis understanding can see how well the swede played.


Yes Nadal from the just the two years before (07,08) or the year after(2010) would have beaten him. But nobody should question that Soderling played abnormally well that day.
i don't get the point of posing the question if they've already made up their mind and clearly don't like that people picked the first option. Even saying both wasn't a welcomed answer apparently. Like you might as well just make a post stating that nadal was awful, clearly devastated by his parent's divorce, that match has an asterisk and so on and so on.

also not sure if I agree with the point that well peak fed couldn't handle peak nadal, and therefore soderling beat nadal on that day, and federer>soderling so nadal obviously must have been horrendous. Which again yes nadal wasn't at his best, but in general I think most can agree especially during that time fed-nadal on clay was just a disaster matchup. the most peak version of fed being able to hang with nadal was rome 2006 and we saw how that event. it is entirely possible for one player to play lights out tennis in a single match more so than a player that is generally better than them. saying soderling played lights out on that day isn't saying that djokerer are worse than him because neither could take him down during that period, its a bit narrow minded imo to view it like that.
 
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icedevil0289

G.O.A.T.
I don't think I've ever rewatched the match. Not to criticize the question, but does it matter? Upsets happen in all sports. Period.
To what degree Rafa was having an off day or Soderling was zoning, I don't know, but they're essentially two sides of the same coin.

These guys aren't machines. Rafa has been ridiculously great at RG, only losing twice and having to withdraw once in 14 attempts. Both losses and the withdrawal are part of his record, and it doesn't matter whether he was peak, prime, distracted, injured or whatever - his opponents were better on those two occasions. Period.

It shouldn't matter, but I am a huge Rafa fan. I'm also a huge fan of tennis, and quite a few sports.
in general most matches are a combination of both, sure I'd like to admit that my fav played like crap when he loses to make myself feel better, and hey to an extent yes rafa wasn't the rafa clay goat that we know, but like i said not just anyone could have beaten him on that day. heck idc what people say, rafa could have given bps after bps on a silver platter to federer and he probably would have messed up and rafa would have found a way to win.
 

weakera

Hall of Fame
Rafael played an average match for his RG standards and Robin played an incredible match. It was not as unlikely an outcome as many think, in retrospect, in my opinion.

Rafael's best level on Chatrier is undoubtedly better than what Robin displayed that day. Stan 2015 and Nole 2013 also would have beaten Robin fairly straightforward, IMO.
 

StANDAA

Legend
It was more Nadal having an off-day than Soderling playing in a godmode.

Anyone who actually watched the entire match knows Rafa was sending his FHs halfway into the net’s height.

Of course it doesn’t mean he was injured, just that he was having an off-day, and that’s normal.
 

StrongRule

Hall of Fame
It was more Nadal having an off-day than Soderling playing in a godmode.

Anyone who actually watched the entire match knows Rafa was sending his FHs halfway into the net’s height.

Of course it doesn’t mean he was injured, just that he was having an off-day, and that’s normal.
I think he underestimated Soderling a bit-both before the match and after winning the second set. After all he made lots of comebacks when he was young. Nobody could write him off even when he was 4-0 or 5-1 down against Federer in a set. Until the fourth set tie break many people expected Nadal to come back and beat Soderling.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
It was more Nadal having an off-day than Soderling playing in a godmode.

Anyone who actually watched the entire match knows Rafa was sending his FHs halfway into the net’s height.

Of course it doesn’t mean he was injured, just that he was having an off-day, and that’s normal.
Exactly. Nadal's FH was ridiculo.
 
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