Massively disappointing loss for Robin Soderling in Stockholm today - he is literally centimetres away from qualifying for the world tour finals, but he went down to Florian Mayer. Not an awesome result.
You would think this is a cue for another one of my x-player-who-did-well-at-a-Slam-one-time-is-now-so-disappointing rants, but no. Quite the opposite. While Soderling took a bad loss today, the fact that he is so close to qualifying for the world tour finals - which would make him the first guy outside the big four to do so - proves something very important. When Robin Soderling arrived on the scene, he made sure he hung around.
Ever since that win over Nadal at Roland Garros last year, the Yoker has been a force to be reckoned with. Before that, he was a mildly dangerous second tier player, capable of pulling the odd upset. Now he's someone that could legitimately challenge for a Slam title. And he is not a one hit wonder. He's not even a one album wonder. He's made two Slam finals now, and a whole bunch of other quarters and similarly awesome results. Soderling is keeping the standard up.
All this has left him one win away from the world tour finals - a win that he will get, even if he took a bad loss today. Robin Soderling has become what the Davydenkos and Berdychs of 2010 aspire to be - someone who made it big and then held their level, not someone who had a couple of good results and then fizzled spectacularly. The Yoker has really been a game changer in men's tennis. And with the team we have at the top at the moment, there's not many men who can say that.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago