Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Roland Garros Results: Soderling Ends Fed's Semis Streak; Dementieva, Schiavone and Berdych Advance

And just like that, Roger Federer's out-of-this-world streak of 23 consecutive Major semifinal appearances is over, at the hands of the equally out-of-this-world Robin Soderling. After dropping the opening set to the Swiss, Soderling came roaring back, playing pure power tennis and dominating each and every point to stun the tennis world with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 victory. Soderling has a way of making even the best of them feel extremely uncomfortable and a 130 mph average first serve can do that to you. We saw it with Rafa last year, and today with Fed.

Soderling was asked about what it felt like going on court with an 0-12 record against Federer:

"Well, of course I didn't think about it that much. As I said, I think even though I lost so many times, I always have a chance to win. I came close a couple of times before, and I really feel like one or two times I actually been a little bit unlucky.With a little bit of lucky I could have won before. Now I'm here finally with a win, and it's great."

In the first women's semifinal, Francesca Schiavone crushed Carolinbe Wozniacki 6-2, 6-3 to reach her first ever Grand Slam quarterfinal. The win makes Schiavone, seeded 17th, the first Italian woman to reach a Major semifinal in the Open Era. Schiavone, who will now enter the top 10 (they come and go, don't they?) used heavy spin and a lot of craftiness to never give Wozniacki, the 3rd seed, much of a rhythm.

The media may be all about Soderling, but Tomas Berdych is playing just as, if not more impressive. Berdych has yet to drop a set and continued his momentum by trouncing Mikhail Youzhny, 6-3, 6-1, 6-2. The Czech broke Youzhny 6 times and outaced the 11th seed 8 to 1. The victory, earned in just over an hour and a half, is Berdych's first in a major quarterfinal. In his presser, Berdych discussed cited his improvements in shot-selection, consistency and movement as key reasons for his incredibly impressive run. The 15th seed will take on Soderling in the first mens semifinal.

Elena Dementieva and Nadia Petrova squared off in the second womens semifinal, and the two Russians did not fail to produce an exciting encounter. Petrova looked well on her way to backing up her upset win over Venus Williams after taking the first set 6-2, but Dementieva dominated the next two, taking the second by the same score and bageling her compatriot in the decider. Dementieva struggled with her serve, hitting 7 double faults, but she hit one more winner than error as the 19th seeded Petrova was even. Dementieva is 6-4 head-to-head against her semifinal opponent, Schiavone, and will be vying to reach her 3rd Major final.

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