Robin Soderling French Open Final Interview June 6th
Q. Apart the score, what was the main difference between last year and this year, your opinion?
ROBIN SODERLING: Every match is different. The margins are very small. Of course I didn't play as good this year as I did against him last year. I didn't serve as well. I wasn't hitting the ball as clean.
It was tough today. I didn't really get into the match.
Q. From the beginning, you mean?
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, it was tough to get into the match. You know, of course he was playing well. He was playing extremely well.
He didn't miss much, but I had to really fight today.
Q. You, yourself, you didn't feel very well?
ROBIN SODERLING: No, it was tough. Of course I can play better. I wish I could have done that, but, you know, he played great. So all credit to him.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the Berdych match and how much that took out of you going into today's match?
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, it was a tough match. I think all the matches I played here has been tough in different ways, you know.
It's really difficult to stay focused for two weeks playing many matches. So they're all tough, but physically I feel fine. It was okay. It's not why I lost today.
Q. There was a little incident up with the people. Somebody fell down. Did that disturb your concentration? It was a moment where you were playing, the ball was heavier maybe, but you were starting to play inside.
ROBIN SODERLING: No, no, no.
Q. In any case, do you think there was a moment where the ball was getting, let's say thicker and heavier, and you were inside? Because from outside it seemed that you could change, let's say, at the beginning of the second set.
ROBIN SODERLING: What do you mean, the ball got...
Q. The humid conditions.
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, it was humid already from the start. So I mean, conditions were good. Of course, it was a little bit windy, but it wasn't bad at all.
So, you know, it was good for me, and I think for both of us.
Q. You said that it wasn't because of that you lost today. Why did you lose today?
ROBIN SODERLING: Because he played better than me.
Q. Second question: Did you feel that you played differently today than you have been playing the days before?
ROBIN SODERLING: How do you mean, differently?
Q. I don't know. If you have felt that you should play differently today.
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, I lost. Of course I should have played in a different way if I wanted to win.
ROBIN SODERLING: You know, I know I played many matches here, and there have been both good and matches where I didn't play so good.
So overall, it's a great week. Of course, today wasn't my best match. But as I said, he played so well today.
Q. Two questions. There's a lot of matches between when you played him here last year and now, but I'm wondering if tactically you felt like he did anything different today than when you played him before. Secondly, just can you talk about the game, the long game in the second set when you had all the break points, and if that really sort of took the steam out of you.
ROBIN SODERLING: No, I think, you know, Rafa always plays kind of the same. He has more or less one game, but he does it so well it's enough to not lose a match on clay for a whole year, which is pretty good.
But as I said, you always know what to expect when you play against him. Yeah, I think in the beginning I was a little bit unlucky; I had a few break chances. I didn't take them, so then of course it was tough.
I don't think it would have changed anything.
Q. Just two questions. First, if now is all good feelings between Rafa and you. Second, if you foresee Rafa long time as No. 1.
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, I said, I don't know, like 200 times or even more, I have nothing against Rafa. I think he's a great player.
He definitely has the chance to be No. 1 for a long time if he plays like this. On clay especially he's real difficult to beat.
Q. I think you preferred kind of rainy, humid condition. It was kind of strange weather today. It was raining, rainy morning, but kind of sunny during that match. So could you explain what kind of condition it was? I mean, it was slippy or like the ball was heavy or...
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, it was humid, and of course it was a little bit windy. But I think the conditions were really pretty good for tennis today.
Q. Could you go into, a little bit more, the difference between your incredible win last year and the tough result today? What was the difference between the two matches?
ROBIN SODERLING: Okay. (Laughter.)
Okay. You didn't listen to the first question.
Q. I listened, but I wanted you to go into more detail.
ROBIN SODERLING: You know, every match is different, and the margins are really small. Maybe he played a little bit better. I didn't play as good as I did last year. I didn't serve so well. I wasn't hitting the ball as clean.
You know, I had some chances in the beginning, but I didn't take them. And then he won the first and then played really well in the second, so then, you know, that's about...
Q. If I could ask, the problems on converting the breakpoint opportunities you had, why such a big problem today getting conversions?
ROBIN SODERLING: I don't know. He played well. Yeah, I don't know. I have no explanation why I didn't take the break points today.
Q. Obviously you know what to expect from Rafa, but is it any real frustration when winners you would hit against anybody else he goes back and retrieves it, or have you already put that past you, you know you're gonna get that from Rafa and that's the way it is?
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah. As I said, you know, I think everybody knows what to expect when you play against him. That's why he's so good, because he's moving so well and gets everything back.
He's a great defensive player, but also has a great offensive game, as well. He can really change defense to offense really quick. That's why he's so good.
Q. Could anyone have beaten Rafa today on that form?
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah. I think the tennis is so tough today, so I think everybody can beat everybody on a good day.
You know, as I said, I think I can beat anybody. But when Rafa is playing like this, you need to have a really good day, which unfortunately I didn't have today.
Q. Is it more difficult for you to lose this final than last year's final?
ROBIN SODERLING: No. No, they're both tough, of course. (Laughter.) Losing a final in a Grand Slam is not great. It's not a great feeling.
But, you know, I wasn't close in any one of them. I lost straight sets last year and the same this year. It's always tougher if you lose a really, really close match.
Interview from RG.com