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

tudwell

Hall of Fame
I can't say I see how the two options are saying different things. Nadal was far from terrible in that match, but he lacked intensity and the typical spring in his step. I'm sure a lot of that had to do with the physical and psychological things going on in his life. But by that same token, Soderling played pretty much the perfect match – he didn't just do like Rosol at Wimbledon a few years later, who simply blasted every shot for a winner and somehow managed to get enough in to win the match. Soderling played more controlled, more within himself, while never shying away from his aggressive game plan. It was the perfect combination of factors to dethrone Nadal.
 
Exactly. Nadal's FH was ridiculo.
I think both sides have it wrong. Fed fans, for the most part, try to play it off as Nadal being completely fine and Soderling unplayable. Nadal fans don’t do themselves any favor when they try to yet again play the injury excuse. Nadal was just off (experiencing off-court distractions, probably his parents’ divorce) or just didn’t sleep well the night before. He was bad. Not necessarily terrible, but bad. Soderling playing really well was just the cherry on top.
 
Nadal slayed Soderling every time before, and every time since on clay. Clearly something changed in the matchup that day, and all you have to do is watch the match to see how out of it Nadal is. Again, this isn't taking credit from Soderling, he still had to win 3 sets from Nadal, which not many would have been up to do.
Exactly this. Nadal normally slaughtered RS on clay, infact he done so at Rome right before this RG meeting, 6-1, 6-0.

Personally my feeling from reading his book, is that his head wasn't in it. Not just that day, but for the tournament.
Yes I know people say he looked fine the rounds before, but with his parents separation , I think he was going through the motions on court, which is still enough to beat most players on clay, especially ones who are beaten before a ball is struck mentally.
Soderling was very up for this match, and that is why he won.
So, for me, a combination of Nadal not mentally all there, plus Soderling on fire, and up for the fight that day, was the reason he won.
 
And boy does that ever infuriate his haters :D
Doesn't infuriate me. It's more a sensation of disgust, and repulsion, along with some cold scientific fascination, that i feel whenever my eyes are inflicted with the sight of the inhuman slimy troglodyte loping around the court, with its' gross mannerisms & nervous tics, and endless excuses. More excuses than chris jericho had wrestling moves.
 
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.
So you’re saying he lost it because he didn’t play well enough? I disagree. Soderling was on another level. It isn’t often a player can say this but that was without a doubt the best match he ever played. He was smashing the ball. No one was beating the Sod that day.
 
So you’re saying he lost it because he didn’t play well enough? I disagree. Soderling was on another level. It isn’t often a player can say this but that was without a doubt the best match he ever played. He was smashing the ball. No one was beating the Sod that day.
Lol PLEASE :D insert 2017 Nadal and he loses in 4 MAX.
 
Lol grasp that WEAK ASS straw. Even the biggest Nadal hater can admit he played WAY better in 2017 than 2009.
I am not even a small Nadal hater and I disagree with you. Granted, the 09 match is now 10 years removed but I have the result burned in my memory as Robin hitting Rafa off the court.

I do still remember the 2017 Nadal. I don’t think he was really that special, he just played mug after mug after mug until hitting Thiem - who even now can’t play 2 good matches against top guys in a row - and a dead tired pigeon Wawrinka.
 
Lol grasp that WEAK ASS straw. Even the biggest Nadal hater can admit he played WAY better in 2017 than 2009.
I’m no Nadal hater. But fans like you might make me change my mind.

It doesn’t matter if he played WAY better in 2017 than 2009. And you can’t state definitely that 2017 Nadal would have beaten Sod that day. He might have. Or maybe he would have succumbed to those heavy shots too. The simple fact is he lost to an opponent who played an excellent match that day. This takes nothing away from him.

It’s like when Becker lost at Wimbledon to Doohan in 1987. Did Boris play his best that day? Maybe not. But Doohan played well enough to beat anyone that day.
 
It’s like when Becker lost at Wimbledon to Doohan in 1987. Did Boris play his best that day? Maybe not. But Doohan played well enough to beat anyone that day.
lol

What's next, Stakhovsky would've beaten anyone that day? Arnaud Clement would've beaten anyone that day. Bill Scanlon would've beaten anyone that day. Michael Chang would've beaten anyone that day. Unbelievable!
 
lol

What's next, Stakhovsky would've beaten anyone that day? Arnaud Clement would've beaten anyone that day. Bill Scanlon would've beaten anyone that day. Michael Chang would've beaten anyone that day. Unbelievable!
It’s a bit of hyperbole to be sure. But let’s give the man credit. He played a great match to beat an ATG.

Only Fedal fans would even be bothered by this. He would have won if he wasn’t hitting poorly that day or if the twins hadn’t kept him up all night or whatever. Sure Nadal is the better player. But he wasn’t that day and it wasn’t that he played poorly. Le Sod made Nadal his b!?$& that day.
 
It’s a bit of hyperbole to be sure. But let’s give the man credit. He played a great match to beat an ATG.

Only Fedal fans would even be bothered by this. He would have won if he wasn’t hitting poorly that day or if the twins hadn’t kept him up all night or whatever. Sure Nadal is the better player. But he wasn’t that day and it wasn’t that he played poorly. Le Sod made Nadal his b!?$& that day.
Just that we needn't go overboard either way. Nadal was average, it has to be said; an average Nadal at RG is still extremely tough though, and he won dozens of early round matches playing average for his standards. Söderling played far above anyone's wildest expectations too, certainly the strongest pre-SF opponent for Claydal ever by some margin, along with 2015 Djokovic but 2015 Nadal was obviously the worst of them anyway.

Tough luck, Nadal went in expecting a generic 4R opponent but got Slam final quality resistance and didn't improve enough. The perfect storm for Robin on both sides of the net.
 

DSH

Hall of Fame
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).

Normally this type of players can give the surprise in rounds where the favorite does not expect, when they face in the semifinals or especially in the final, their momentum and intensity decline considerably and can not stand the pressure of being in such an alien situation and stressful for them.
Soderling was happy to be in the final, as was Murray in the 2016 final.
I told you a long time ago: they sneaked into a party where they were not invited.
 
Just that we needn't go overboard either way. Nadal was average, it has to be said; an average Nadal at RG is still extremely tough though, and he won dozens of early round matches playing average for his standards. Söderling played far above anyone's wildest expectations too, certainly the strongest pre-SF opponent for Claydal ever by some margin, along with 2015 Djokovic but 2015 Nadal was obviously the worst of them anyway.

Tough luck, Nadal went in expecting a generic 4R opponent but got Slam final quality resistance and didn't improve enough. The perfect storm for Robin on both sides of the net.
I don’t think he underestimated Soderling. Le So
Exactly this. Nadal normally slaughtered RS on clay, infact he done so at Rome right before this RG meeting, 6-1, 6-0.

Personally my feeling from reading his book, is that his head wasn't in it. Not just that day, but for the tournament.
Yes I know people say he looked fine the rounds before, but with his parents separation , I think he was going through the motions on court, which is still enough to beat most players on clay, especially ones who are beaten before a ball is struck mentally.
Soderling was very up for this match, and that is why he won.
So, for me, a combination of Nadal not mentally all there, plus Soderling on fire, and up for the fight that day, was the reason he won.
thats all fine. But this is what all tennis players must go through. What was happening to Becker that day he lost to Doohan? Did he have a fight with his girlfriend or was he just in a bad mood? Regardless at the tour level most any pro can play a match capable of beating a number one it’s just a question of how often and does it happen on the right day.

Rafa definitely took a dip in form around this time. But getting beat will do that to you.
 
I don’t think he underestimated Soderling. Le So

thats all fine. But this is what all tennis players must go through. What was happening to Becker that day he lost to Doohan? Did he have a fight with his girlfriend or was he just in a bad mood? Regardless at the tour level most any pro can play a match capable of beating a number one it’s just a question of how often and does it happen on the right day.

Rafa definitely took a dip in form around this time. But getting beat will do that to you.
Yes, fair comment. But to me, Rafa relies a lot on his mental state more than say a Djokovic IMO.
Everything needs to be right for Nadal to perform at his best, and I think he becomes unsettled quite easily.
 
He absolutely played a brilliant final... Not his best but tactically superb after the first set
Nah, I wasn't impressed by his level. Nadal played a lot better in RG 2012 and even 2013. In 2014 during the clay season it was already clear that he is on a decline, and he didn't win another slam for 3 years.
 

ibbi

Hall of Fame
Nadal's best of five set clay court record is 111-2, it stretches back to 2004. He has had a lot of bad days, played in less than favourable conditions, maybe not been entirely healthy or happy, come up against guys playing the matches of their life on more than a time or two, and his record... Is 111-2.

To beat him it seems safe to say that you his opponent have to step up in a not normal way, and Soderling did that. Nadal won his first couple of rounds comfortably. Soderling had a hell of a victory over Ferrer the round before, it wasn't just a fluke, he followed it up with two further victories to go all the way to the final. He was playing really well.
 
Nadal's best of five set clay court record is 111-2, it stretches back to 2004. He has had a lot of bad days, played in less than favourable conditions, maybe not been entirely healthy or happy, come up against guys playing the matches of their life on more than a time or two, and his record... Is 111-2.

To beat him it seems safe to say that you his opponent have to step up in a not normal way, and Soderling did that. Nadal won his first couple of rounds comfortably. Soderling had a hell of a victory over Ferrer the round before, it wasn't just a fluke, he followed it up with two further victories to go all the way to the final. He was playing really well.
Yup. It was the pinnacle of his career really. Even more than the next year when he did the opposite trick.
 
Nadal's best of five set clay court record is 111-2, it stretches back to 2004. He has had a lot of bad days, played in less than favourable conditions, maybe not been entirely healthy or happy, come up against guys playing the matches of their life on more than a time or two, and his record... Is 111-2.

To beat him it seems safe to say that you his opponent have to step up in a not normal way, and Soderling did that. Nadal won his first couple of rounds comfortably. Soderling had a hell of a victory over Ferrer the round before, it wasn't just a fluke, he followed it up with two further victories to go all the way to the final. He was playing really well.
Unless it is 2015 Nadal.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Normally this type of players can give the surprise in rounds where the favorite does not expect, when they face in the semifinals or especially in the final, their momentum and intensity decline considerably and can not stand the pressure of being in such an alien situation and stressful for them.
Soderling was happy to be in the final, as was Murray in the 2016 final.
I told you a long time ago: they sneaked into a party where they were not invited.
Söderling maybe as his defeat of Nadal was shocking and unexpected but in 2016 Nadal had withdrawn, Murray was the #2 seed and so therefore expected to make the final. Maybe his defeat of Wawrinka was a bit of an upset but, if so, it confirmed his seeding. His place in the final was logical even if he didn't do himself justice when he got there.
 

DSH

Hall of Fame
Söderling maybe as his defeat of Nadal was shocking and unexpected but in 2016 Nadal had withdrawn, Murray was the #2 seed and so therefore expected to make the final. Maybe his defeat of Wawrinka was a bit of an upset but, if so, it confirmed his seeding. His place in the final was logical even if he didn't do himself justice when he got there.

But for the first time in his career, the British reached a final in Parisian lands.
In addition, everyone expected the coronation of Djokovic to complete the Grand Slam race.
And, as you are a fan of him, you must remember that after a great first set that he could win, Murray completely faded and Djokovic also went up in level, but it was a very unequal match from the second set.
And at the end of the match, you can appreciate that in addition to the obvious joy of the Serbian to get something very important, the Scot was also satisfied with his performance at the French Open.
 
I think both sides have it wrong. Fed fans, for the most part, try to play it off as Nadal being completely fine and Soderling unplayable. Nadal fans don’t do themselves any favor when they try to yet again play the injury excuse. Nadal was just off (experiencing off-court distractions, probably his parents’ divorce) or just didn’t sleep well the night before. He was bad. Not necessarily terrible, but bad. Soderling playing really well was just the cherry on top.
Most sensible post I have read on the topic.
 
Nadal's best of five set clay court record is 111-2, it stretches back to 2004. He has had a lot of bad days, played in less than favourable conditions, maybe not been entirely healthy or happy, come up against guys playing the matches of their life on more than a time or two, and his record... Is 111-2.

To beat him it seems safe to say that you his opponent have to step up in a not normal way, and Soderling did that. Nadal won his first couple of rounds comfortably. Soderling had a hell of a victory over Ferrer the round before, it wasn't just a fluke, he followed it up with two further victories to go all the way to the final. He was playing really well.
Sure. I never said he didn’t play well. But would you all agree that Soderling’s level was as good in the final as it was against Nadal?

Fed beat Soderling in straight sets. Why?

Answer: Fed’s level was very high and Soderling’s dropped from the Nadal match.
The point is that players raise their levels in certain matches and drop it in others.

Soderling’s level was high, but Nadal’s was also low.

My basic point is that Nadal’s level was the critical factor in the loss. He was not doing well for some reason. There is a reason he didn’t step out on a court for well over a month after this match.
 
Sure. I never said he didn’t play well. But would you all agree that Soderling’s level was as good in the final as it was against Nadal?

Fed beat Soderling in straight sets. Why?

Answer: Fed’s level was very high and Soderling’s dropped from the Nadal match.
The point is that players raise their levels in certain matches and drop it in others.

Soderling’s level was high, but Nadal’s was also low.

My basic point is that Nadal’s level was the critical factor in the loss. He was not doing well for some reason. There is a reason he didn’t step out on a court for well over a month after this match.
So let’s recap Nadal’s 2009 clay season:
-wins Monte Carlo vs Nole losing the only set in the tournament to him (doing well I guess)
-wins Barcelona vs Ferrer dropping 0 sets all tournament (doing well I guess)
-wins Rome vs Nole dropping 0 sets all tournament and slaying Robin 0&1 (doing well I guess)
-loses the Madrid final to Roger after battling for hours and defeating Nole in a 3-set thriller (still doing well?)
-straightsets his first 3 RG opponents losing just 5 games to Hewitt in Round 3 (doing well-ish?)

-loses in 4 to Robin Soderling (his 2nd worst level in the history of RG after 2015).

Did I get it right? ;)
 

Lew II

Hall of Fame
I think that the weather helped Soderling a bit.

Djokovic is the only player who beat Nadal at RG in a sunny day, and in straight sets.
 
I think that the weather helped Soderling a bit.

Djokovic is the only player who beat Nadal at RG in a sunny day, and in straight sets.
I support Novak and while the 2015 Victory is brilliant, I am thousand times more proud of him pushing 2013 Nadal to the very brink and staying with him even when Rafa started to hit unimaginable heights.

Not to mention the 2011 beatdowns and the 2013 MC victory(best outfit on clay too).
 
The wording of the poll is confusing due to the word "primarily". Any ATG can lose when not playing at peak level if facing another highly talented player who is playing at top level. If Soderling had played the match of his life, he still would have lost if Nadal was zoned. But he wasn't, and it happens...
 
I support Novak and while the 2015 Victory is brilliant, I am thousand times more proud of him pushing 2013 Nadal to the very brink and staying with him even when Rafa started to hit unimaginable heights.

Not to mention the 2011 beatdowns and the 2013 MC victory(best outfit on clay too).
But I never felt more sorry for Novak than in 2014 at RG, the whole net incident. Am I thinking of the right year? I know the score was closer in 2013.

And by the way, one of my pet peeves. There is nothing more stupid than RG's seeding. In 2013 Rafa had already won Barcy, Madrid and Rome. Not only has Rafa only been seeded #1 there three times (I think), that year he got #3, which based on his record is asinine. That prevented the logical final between Rafa and Novak and lead to an anticlimactic Nadal/Ferrer final.
 
The net incident was 2013.
See. The world's worst memory. But I do remember the net thing. So then yes, 2013 was the most painful loss. I was thinking 2014 was closer because to me it is logical. 2014 was the beginning of a decline for Nadal. It all started at the AO, with the back. Now THAT match I DO remember!
 
But I never felt more sorry for Novak than in 2014 at RG, the whole net incident. Am I thinking of the right year? I know the score was closer in 2013.
The net incident happened in 2013,and at the time hurt a hell lot. Imagine the pride that would have come with being the only second man to have taken Nadal out. And Nobody could deny Nadal played well. But Rafa did start to reach too high a level in the 5th and he kept knocking on the door.

It's 2015 that bothered me until he won in 2016.



However the most broken I have been was the Cechinnato loss.The post match interview was scary. His "I don't know what I am going to do" was very very omnious.
 
I do not think it's a matter of opinion, it's a well-known fact that he got injured at the beginning of the clay season, even in Rome (which he won) he implied in a few post-match interviews that he was just winning because of the momentum built through a streak of victories, but he knew that streak could stop in any moment. He knew he was not ok but was able to win Rome nonetheless.

Later on, the semifinal in Madrid against Djokovic was the last straw for him. It was too much and lost the final and was able to save a bit of face.

At RG he played ok in the first rounds but when he had to face tougher opposition (Soderling played greater for his standard, no doubt about it) he just crumbled, played very short and wasn't moving that well. After that, he just did the sensible thing: He withdrew from Wimbledon and got treatment for his knees.

Also, you can learn much of what happened in Nadal's book.

Only a Nadal-hater could consider Nadal at his peak back then.
 
Last edited:
But I never felt more sorry for Novak than in 2014 at RG, the whole net incident. Am I thinking of the right year? I know the score was closer in 2013.

And by the way, one of my pet peeves. There is nothing more stupid than RG's seeding. In 2013 Rafa had already won Barcy, Madrid and Rome. Not only has Rafa only been seeded #1 there three times (I think), that year he got #3, which based on his record is asinine. That prevented the logical final between Rafa and Novak and lead to an anticlimactic Nadal/Ferrer final.
Seeding in all tournaments that are part of ATP Tour calendar, except Wimbledon, is based on the ATP ranking list.
 
I do not think it's a matter of opinion, it's a well-known fact that he got injured at the beginning of the clay season, even in Rome (which he won) he implied in a few post-match interviews that he was just winning because of the momentum built through a streak of victories, but he knew that streak could stop in any moment. He knew he was not ok but was able to win Rome nonetheless.

Later on, the semifinal in Madrid against Djokovic was the last straw for him. It was too much and lost the final and was able to save a bit of face.

At RG he played ok in the first rounds but when he had to face tougher opposition (Soderling played greater for his standard, no doubt about it) he just crumbled, played very short and wasn't moving that well. After that, he just did the sensible thing: He withdrew from Wimbledon and got treatment for his knees.

Also, you can learn much of what happened in Nadal's book.

Only a Nadal-hater could consider Nadal at his peak back then.
You can go on believing he was injured if you want to, but 11:24 here says otherwise. If that's injured, injure me now PLEASE.

 
I support Novak and while the 2015 Victory is brilliant, I am thousand times more proud of him pushing 2013 Nadal to the very brink and staying with him even when Rafa started to hit unimaginable heights.

Not to mention the 2011 beatdowns and the 2013 MC victory(best outfit on clay too).
Yes, pushing prime Nadal was MUCH more impressive than beating the worst Nadal ever in 2015, I agree. All Djokovic had to do in 2015 was to show up, there was no chance to lose to such bad Nadal.
 
Top