Soderling shock for Federer at the Open | sports | Hindustan Times
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Soderling shock for Federer at the Open

Robin Soderling gatecrashed Roland Garros for the second successive year on Tuesday as the free-swinging Swede sent defending champion and 16-time Grand Slam title winner Roger Federer to a stunning defeat.

sports Updated: Jun 02, 2010 00:54 IST

Robin Soderling gatecrashed Roland Garros for the second successive year on Tuesday as the free-swinging Swede sent defending champion and 16-time Grand Slam title winner Roger Federer to a stunning defeat.

Twelve months on from condemning four-time champion Rafael Nadal to his first loss in Paris, Soderling once again unleashed his forehand and service hammer to beat the world number one 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in the quarter-finals.

It was Federer’s earliest Grand Slam defeat in six years and Soderling’s first triumph over the Swiss having lost 12 times in 12 meetings, including the final here last year.

Soderling’s win, achieved on a gloomy, wet afternoon in Paris, brought to an end Federer’s record run of 23 successive Grand Slam semifinal appearances stretching back to his third round defeat to Gustavo Kuerten here in 2004.

It set up a semifinal clash against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic who eased past Mikhail Youzhny of Russia.

“I love playing on this court. I have been here for two weeks and have been playing better and better with each match,” said the Swede.

“Today I played really well. It can’t get much better than this to beat the world number one on this court.”

Dementieva subdues Petrova

Elena Dementieva outlasted Russian compatriot Nadia Petrova 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 to reach the French Open semifinals for the second time on Tuesday.

The fifth seed, who was the losing finalist at Roland Garros in 2004, will play Italian 17th seed Francesca Schiavone for a place in Saturday’s final.

Dementieva came out on top in a shambles of a match that was strewn with errors and mishits as both players struggled with leg injuries picked up earlier in the tournament.

The tie lasted 2 hours 6 minutes, but at least 30 minutes of this were down to medical timeouts and delays to decide whether or not to send the players off due to the light rain that was falling.

Petrova said she had strained a muscle in her left thigh during her marathon third round tie against French hope Aravane Rezai during which she saved three match points.

“I was limited and not moving properly. I wasn’t able to chase the balls,” said Petrova, adding that the injury came back to haunt her early in the first set. “I thought of retiring after dropping my serve at the start of the third set, but it’s so difficult to just give up like that.”

Paes-Dlouhy storm into doubles semis

Defending champions Leander Paes of India and Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic breezed into the semifinals of the French Open tennis men’s doubles with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Poland’s Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski here Tuesday.

The pair converted all four break point opportunities to knock out eighth-seeded Fyrstenberg and Matkowski in 58 minutes. Paes and Dlouhy, will now be challenged by 10th seeds Julian Knowle of Austria and Israel’s Andy Ram, who are contesting their first Grand Slam championship as a team.

Paes however crashed out of the mixed doubles. He and his partner in Cara Black of Zimbabwe lost to Yaroslava Shvedova and Julian Knowle of Kazakhstan and Austria respectively, 6-3 6-7(2) 10-7.

Wozniacki downed

Francesca Schiavone became the first Italian woman to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals in the Open era on Tuesday, shrugging off a 10-year age gap to defeat Danish third seed Caroline Wozniacki.

The 29-year-old Schiavone beat the highly-rated teenager 6-2, 6-3 to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal.