The 2009 French Open: Day 8 Updates
The 2009 French Open has entered its eighth day of competition today and brought some major surprises along the way. Both men's and women's singles title contenders -- Rafael Nadal and Ana Ivanovic, both reigning French Open champions, were eliminated. Dinara Safina, Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray and Fernando Gonzalez are through to the next round.
Nadal's elimination caused a major disappointment among many of his fans, as he was aiming to make it into tennis history books as a five-time French Open champion. But Robin Soderling of Sweden has grounded the hopes of formerly unstoppable Nadal in today's grueling match. Roger Federer came through yesterday with a win over French Paul-Henri Mathieu. Federer and Nadal have been bitter on-court rivals recently. Nadal has succeeded Federer as the Wold No. 1 in 2008. But now with Nadal (and another long-time rival Novak Djakovic) out of the game, Federer has a change at revenge.
"What happened? I lost. That's it," said the Spanish world No1.
“He can’t feel good right now,” said Soderling of Nadal, telling reporters the Spaniard is “the greatest claycourt player of all time.”
“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 a news conference.
Last year's French Open champion Serbian Ana Ivanovic has lost to Victoria Azarenka from Belarus, lifting pressure off the shoulders of Dinara Safina of Russia, who is contending for the title at Roland Garros this year. Ivanovic did not put up a great fight, and her loss paled in comparison with that of Rafael Nadal today.
"I started really well, and I felt really good in the beginning," said the eighth-seeded Ivanovic, who won her only Grand Slam title at last year's French Open. "In the fourth game, I just suddenly started feeling so dizzy, and I completely lost my balance.
"Ever since then it was really hard. I struggled with looking up. I started feeling very dizzy, and I was struggling a little bit to find my balance."
"Getting into the quarter-finals like this feels good," said Safina.
"I remember Australia (where she reached the final) this year and I don't know how many hours I needed there so I am feeling good right now.
"Since I became number one (April 20) I am playing better and better."