Soderling"s stunning 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-4, 7-6(2) fourth round victory came just a month after he"d won only one game in a rout at the Rome Masters, his third defeat in three matches against the world No. 1. The six-times Grand Slam champion seemed lacking in energy on Centre Court, losing the first set in 34 minutes before rallying back to win the second in a tie-break 7-2.
It was a mere inconvenience on Soderling way. He made sure that a second champion was dismissed that day after women"s holder Ana Ivanovic was earlier beaten by Belarussian teenager Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-3.
An inconsolable Nadal said he could not keep his nerve in those moments of the match. “I have to accept with the same calm when I win than when I lose. After four years, I lose here, and the season continues," a gracious Nadal told in the press conference after match.
The draw has now opened up for three-time finalist Roger Federer. The former No. 1 needs only to win the French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam, and his road got clearer on Saturday when potential semifinal opponent Novak Djokovic was eliminated and he won against Paul-Henri Mathieu in four sets.