Soderling stuns Nadal

Soderling stuns Nadal

Rafael Nadal was eliminated from the 2009 French Open on Sunday, as he suffered a stunning defeat to Sweden’s Robin Soderling.

The world number one was bidding for his fifth consecutive title at the tournament, and had been an outright favourite to put away the 23rd seed in the fourth round.

Soderling had other ideas, and dominated the match from the outset – winning the first set with ease, before Nadal fought back in the second.

From there on it was all Soderling, as the Swede dominated the third set before taking a 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6 victory in the fourth set. Soderling will play Nikolay Davydenko of Russia in the French Open quarterfinals.

"It’s not a tragedy, losing here in Paris," Rafael Nadal said on the French Open site after the match. "It had to happen one day, and this is an excellent season for me.”

"Of course it’s a bit sad, but I have to overcome this as quickly as possible. No one remembers defeats on the long run. People remember victories. So I have to move forward and try and prepare the best I can."

Nadal’s defeat will be welcomed by rivals Roger Federer and Andy Murray, both of whom will feel they’ve been handed a golden ticket to victory at the 2009 French Open.