Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Soderling gracious at Roland Garros

For several days now I have wanted to mention that Robin Soderling added a touch of more elegance and light-hearted graciousness during the awards ceremony at Roland Garros when Roger Federer earned the tournament championship.
Soderling gave us many extraordinary matches during the quarter finals but the best match I think I watched was the match between Soderling and Fernando Gonzalez.  What a great match!
Gonzalez and Soderling gave us a great match from the very first serve all the way to the end.  And Gonzalez added his flair when he removed a mark on the court outside line when he sat on the court and erased the mark with the bottom of his tennis shorts.  He can be funny in a self-deprecating way.
That match was simply GREAT.
And for his charm and tasteful humor in the awards ceremony, Soderling showed that he was not attached to the win or loss but was there playing his best and took the loss with a smile and shared a comment between himself and his coach of the night before:  "Well, he's beat you 9 times.  He can't beat you 10 times, can he?"  Then Soderling smiled and said something like, "Well, yes, Roger did.  He beat me 10 times."  Everyone clapped and laughed good-naturedly.
The entire ceremony and the winning of the tournament was a significant accomplishment for Mr. Federer.  But the charming touch of levity of Mr. Soderling was just the perfect touch of balance added to the momentous occasion in tennis history.
What an honor to have been able to watch Roger Federer as well as Robin Soderling move into the pages of tennis history.

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