Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa? - MensTennisForums.com

View Poll Results: Why did Soda click after beating Rafa?
He gained confidence and ego after beating the clay GOAT 71 83.53%
Other players levels have dropped since prior to the 2009 FO 2 2.35%
Not true, hes no better now than he was before 2009 FO 8 9.41%
Hes just been luckier/made his own luck/cake draws 4 4.71%
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

2009 FO 4th found was seen as Sodas coming of age, a 24 yearold who had had reasonable sucess but nothing like what he had in 2009 FO and beyond.

Why is it he couldn't play this well prior to beating Rafa? Other players who have made GS finals out of nowhere usually go back to sucking afterward..but not Robin..he has backed it up consistantly including beating Folex wearing Federer. Apart from the loss to Gran annoying ers in AO (whos a very good player), hes been solid.

Is it just conifdence he was always lacking?

"I did not play my best tennis, no? And..that is what enable him to win..to win this match no? "

- Rafael Nadal, ever so "humble", - press conference after shock 4 set loss to Robeen Soderling @ 2009 French Open 4th round.


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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:00 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

Magnus Norman is the answer for me.
Rafa´s upset just rushed the process imo.

Allez Stan !


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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:01 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

Probably to do with his confidence but like said above by Aaric, Magnus Norman is a huge part to it as well.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:02 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

Just an overall upgrade in self-belief.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:05 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

I honestly don`t know to this day what particularly makes Soderling a very good player. His strokes are some of the ugly within the top players, to me he rarely strikes the ball cleanly with those strokes. His mental side is not that great, he can get vulnerable easily still.

So Soderling is sort of a puzzle to me, the main strenght that I can really see on him is that he can smack the ball hard and overcome with power a lot of opponents and that he can play well in all surfaces. I think that huge win on Rafa in RG 2009, something that even problably Fed had plenty of wet dreams about it. Made a nice boost for him to go from a pretty good player to a top one, so I think he is surfing on the wave, but I don`t expect really great things from him, could be wrong.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:07 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

He had a good bbq.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:19 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

Jenni Moström and Magnus Norman, he was better before meeting Nadal, if not he would not have won

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:20 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

Quote:
Why is it he couldn't play this well prior to beating Rafa?
Hate was the main driving force. Soderling played over and above himself when he beat Rafa. That's not his normal everyday game. To play like that all the time would be too physically and emotionally draining.

"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."


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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:25 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

Actually come to think of it, did the Rome match have any influence on their match at RG? I mean surely Soderling wanted revenge, so did that potentially make him play better?
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:29 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaric View Post
Magnus Norman is the answer for me.
Rafa´s upset just rushed the process imo.
I think this is pretty much it in a nutshell. In my opinion the single biggest change from the pre-2009 Soderling to the current one is the mental side - such that he has to some extent been able to change many spectators' perceptions that were previously against him. Of course it is easy to overstate Magnus Norman's role in his newfound mental fortitude, but surely the two are more than just a coincidence. Also as duong mentioned, Jenni may have also been a strong influence.

Not meaning to be deriding in any way here but in a predominantly baseline era his height, strong serve and powerful, flat forehand were always indicative of potential success. I think adopting an improved mental approach to his game enabled him to pull improve his results, which in turn fed back to increase his confidence and most probably his desire to practice and improve.

As far as the Nadal match at the French Open is concerned, I agree with Aaric that it just made the above process happen a lot quicker than anyone could foresee. But the way he has been able to self-perpetuate this cycle and achieve very consistent results over the past year has definitely exceeded my expectations. I hope he can sustain it for the rest of the season to qualify comfortably for the World Tour Finals.

And to address GugaF1's point, his technique is indeed probably the most 'ugly' amongst the top professionals but in some way that is a moot point. I don't particularly like Del Potro or Gonzalez's backswing on their forehands, but that doesn't stop them from being amongst the most effective shots in the game. For good or for ill, his style of play seems to work against most players these days and to his strength he is able to transfer his game well across the surfaces so that he remains in contention throughout the whole of the season.

Last edited by ApproachShot; 04-24-2010 at 08:44 PM.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:39 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

Soderling is reaching almost every ball very well, his movement improved and now, either he cant reach the ball or he reaches and is able to smack a clean hit.

He´s improved drastically his balance on hitting also gaining much more muscular mass.

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:52 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

because of Rainer Schuettler
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 09:03 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

He gained confidence and ego after beating Rafa at the FO where Rafa had never ever lost and had never ever even been taken to 5 sets and where Rafa had destroyed everybody the 4 previous years particulary in 2008.
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 09:48 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

Alot of people seem to ignore the fact that Robin has one of the best BH.s in the game aswell that's gotten better and better i think, volley needs big imrovement though in tight spots!!
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 10:22 PM
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Re: Poll: Why did Soderling become a different player after beating Rafa?

He reached this new level starting at that tournament, Rafa was just unlucky.
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