ROBIN SODERLING ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS FROM WIMBLEDON
by ATP Staff, 27.06.2009
Sweden’s Robin Soderling, who on Monday at Wimbledon will play Roger Federer in a rematch of this month’s Roland Garros final, answered questions from ATPWorldTour.com fans during a day off at The Championships Saturday.
You said at the French that no one beats you 11 times in a row. How do you feel about that statement today now that you’ll play Roger on Monday?
(Laughing) We’ll see on Monday evening. If I can play well hopefully I will have a small chance.
My name is Bjorn, I meet you this year at the Heineken Open in Auckland, thanks for taking the time out for a photo (see above left). How have you seen the game change since you turned pro and how much do you think Federer has been a part of that?
Bjorn Pollock, 8 yrs, Queenstown, New Zealand
All the guys are stronger now and the biggest difference with the top guys is they move so much better. Stroke wise it’s the same. Roger, Rafa, Murray, Djokovic – they are all great movers.
You've played Nadal on clay. Now you must play Federer on his best surface, grass. What is the most difficult match and why?
It’s pretty similar. Roger for me is the best grass court player of all time and Rafa is the best clay court player of all time. I beat Rafa on clay, so that gives me a little confidence that I can beat Roger on grass.
What is your favourite thing about Wimbledon?
For me this is the best Grand Slam tournament. There is a lot of tradition. This is where I had my first good Grand Slam memories. I remember qualifying here at 19 and winning two rounds in the main draw. I beat Verkerk, who played the final of the French that year.
I like playing on grass. You only do it for a couple of weeks all year. I’m glad we don’t play on it the whole year… it’s very different to the other surfaces, but for a couple of weeks it’s a lot of fun.
Will you soon develop an official web site? Or join Facebook so that your fans can view news and videos about you all in one place?
I’ve been on Facebook but I quit. I am starting up an official web site, which will start working pretty soon.
What will you do this weekend after cruising into the second week of the tournament?
I will probably go into town and do a bit of shopping, but I’ll also get a lot of rest to be 100 percent for Monday.
Did you meet up with Bjorn Borg after the Roland Garros final?
No, not after the final but I have met him many times before back home in Sweden. He’s a nice guy and a legend. I wish I could play with him once. It would be very fun just to hit with him. He had stopped playing when I started, so my heroes growing up were Edberg, Wilander.
Not a question, but a thank you to you from Switzerland for being such a fair and friendly sportsman when playing Roger Federer at Roland Garros. We all appreciated your kind consideration when that person had invaded the court. Thank you very much for that, we think very highly of you.
Barbara and Jean-Daniel
Thank you. After the intruder left Roger and jumped the net I wasn’t thinking he was coming at me. I was just waiting for security to take him off the court. But it took quite a while. We were lucky nothing more serious happened.
Did Magnus Norman have a special reward for you after your run to the Roland Garros final?
No reward. He said he’s been waiting for this, that I finally showed how good I could play. He also played in the French final, so he helped me a lot during those two weeks.
Who are, in your opinion, the funniest players?
Andjela, Belgrade, Serbia
Tsonga is a pretty funny guy.
Do you have an iPod? What music do you like to listen to?
Venla S, Helsinki, Finland
I have three or four iPods for different occasions. I like to listen to music before I go on court and I listen to every sort of music. When I’ve been away from Sweden for a long time I like to listen to Swedish music. There is a Swedish band called Kent, which I really like.
You’ve openly said you don’t care about making friends in the locker room, but there must be some players you are friends with?
All the Sweidsh guys, of course. There were more of us two or three years ago, but there are still enough guys for me to spend time with. Jarkko Nieminen also hangs around with us.
Tell me about the pampering you were given after Roland Garros, which included a ride home on a private jet?
The treatment was very nice and what happened was very big in Sweden. I did a lot of media. It’s great to get the profile of tennis back where it belongs. We’re a small country but we have such a big tennis tradition with so many good players.
What was the first thought that came to your mind immediately after winning the final point against Nadal? Was it your best ever day as a tennis pro?
Bhargav Hazarika, Jorhat (India)
I was just happy that the match ended; it was a long match. It took me a while to understand that I had won the match. I think I have played better matches, but it was my biggest win for sure.
What do you feel is the most significant change or addition made to your training routine over the last 6-8 months?
Jason Strong, Glenwood Landing, N.Y.
Nothing really. I have always trained the same way. I always like to train hard and train a lot. On the court I’ve worked a lot with Magnus on my movement and my volleys. We also worked on how to think and how to focus on court.
How can I train to have the serve that you have? It is awesome.
First, you need to practise your serve a lot. And go to the gym. Work your arms and upper body, your shoulders. Do a lot of explosive training if you want to serve harder.
Congratulations on your Roland Garros performance. You said during your off-season training you tried (Bikram) hot yoga. It is something I am thinking of starting. Just how much did your flexibility improve?
Vilim K, Zagreb, Croatia
I was pretty stiff after a long season so it helped me. It also helped me relax.
Did you ever hear the media call you an indoor specialist? Before your breakthrough in Paris why was your record indoors so much better than your record outdoors?
I grew up in Sweden playing on indoor courts; we could only play outdoors for three months of the year. I still think my best surface is indoor hard court, but after doing well on outdoor clay in Paris, I think I can play well on all surfaces.
Who is the most underrated player on tour?
Philipp Kohlschreiber. He’s a great player who is ranked around 30, but I think he’s even better than that.
Tell me a little about your girlfriend Jenni. Does she work or travel with you full time?
She travels with me half of the time. When she’s not with me she’s studying in Sweden.
Have you always played such an aggressive game, even back in the juniors?
When I was very young I played quite defensively. When I was 10 or 11 my coach told me I needed to play more offensively and it went from there.