Robin Soderling will rise to a career-best ATP sixth ranking after the HEAD racket rebel came up short in a dramatic French Open final as Spaniard Rafael Nadal posted a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 title win at Roland Garros. It was Soderling’s second consecutive Paris final.
Soderling, playing with a YouTek Radical MP, was unable to find his "A" game on the clay of the Chatrier showcase court against the man he beat last year in the fourth round. Soderling's huge 2009 upset was the only loss for Nadal at the French. The Swede is also the only player to have ever beaten the Spaniard in five sets on clay.
The loss on just over two and a quarter hours was disappointing for Soderling, who now moves onto the grass in time for Wimbledon with his entry at Halle, Germany. "I must congratulate Rafa, it's really impressive," said the Swede. "If he plays like this he will have the chance to win many more. I'll be back next year and hope to be third time lucky then."
Soderling was unable to capitalise on his chances, missing on eight break points but hitting 32 winners to 28 for Nadal. The defeat ended a two-match win streak for Soderling after his win over Nadal in Paris a year ago and at the year-end Championships in London last November. The final was finishing a second outstanding tournament in Paris with the highlight in the quarterfinal when he could beat Roger Federer in four sets.