Former Swedish tennis player Robin Soderling has revealed his tactics on how to beat Rafael Nadal on clay. The former world No.4 beat Rafa in the fourth round of the Roland Garros in 2009, on course to reach the finals where he lost to Roger Federer.
He went on reach the finals again in 2010 but was unlucky yet again, losing to Nadal on this occasion. However, he took sweet revenge on Federer en route to the finals the second time around but reveals that he regrets not winning the French Open, having reached the finals twice.
However, he has some words of advice for those who are looking to get the better of Rafa on clay, having already done the impossible once in his career. The secret, according to the Swede, is to pulling one over the Spaniard and to be aggressive from the word go and not give him any time to mull over, when he is at his most dangerous.
"You have to play really aggressive. I didn't worry about him, I tried to be aggressive and made sure not to give him any time and put pressure on him all the time. If you stay on the baseline and play cautious it's impossible to beat him. I had to take chances and go for my shots, and that day it worked really well, I was hitting the ball extremely well," Soderling told Tennis Smash.
The Swede was twice close to winning the French Open and revealed that it is likely that he would have won the French Open at least once if illness hadn't taken its toll on his body, leading him to retire.
"Yes, many times [laughs]. Just a joke. The last three or four years of my career, even though I was not the favourite in the Grand Slams, I always felt that if I played well I had a chance to win. In the beginning of my career, I was just happy to win a couple of rounds. But yeah, maybe. Maybe I would've won one," he added, when asked if he would have won the French Open if given time.