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RG Crisis Center, Day Quinze 06/07/2009 - 8:45 AM

PhpaRi9vaAM

Well, it's T-minus 2 hours and 28 minutes as I write this here in the Roland Garros press room. I wrote an preview of the men's final for ESPN, you can read that post here. Beyond that, I think you can throw discussions about the X's and O's out the window on this one, even though they will ultimately constitute the "official" history of the 2009 Roland Garros final.

What we have here is something that only the most passionate of Federer fans might have expected as few as two weeks ago: a potential career-defining match. For just as a win here over Rafael Nadal in the final would have been the sweetest thing imaginable for the Federer faithful, a loss to Robin Soderling today will be a buzz-kill of remarkable proportions, making any defense of Federer's record sound hollow - even if that defense is utterly legitimate.

BTW, I hope all of you will remain civil and compassionate toward each other, no matter how things turn out. No amount of fanlove justifies the kind of chest-thumping or gloating that a huge match like this will invite- whoever wins.

On another front, a number of the Twibe's lovely chicas have assembled here at the last minute, despite scalper tickets running around $600 per seat in Chatrier. Given the historic nature of this match, that's a bargain, at least if you compare it to trying to get a ticket to, say, the seventh game of the World Series in a major market city. Anyway, Viv and her mum flew in from Cork, Ireland, and Alex and Susan K. from New York, who spent the first week here on vacation, extended their stay, hoping to see Federer make  history today (And JB - Susan, Viv and I were going to call you a few minutes ago, but wiser heads prevailed. . .)

Robin When I walked into the press center this morning, Dick Norman was standing at the desk, talking with one of the press assistants. It occurred to me that he may be trying to reach one of my Belgian colleagues, who sit near me in the work room upstairs. As I passed I said, "Dick, are you looking for somebody?"

"No," he said, "I'm just trying to get a video of a match."

When I was halfway up the stairs, he called after me, "Thanks for that article, I thought it was really great. . ."

We don't often get that kind of feedback from the players, so it's welcome when we do. But I bring this up just to let you know that many players read TennisWorld, and we can all be proud about that, right?

Enjoy the men's final, everyone, it's going to be one helluva day no matter what happens.

-- Pete

As at 10:35 TW time, TypePad is freezing, so an overflow is up.  Andrew

And at 1:10pm TW time, Overflow 2..... Andrew

Overflow

Overflow 2


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Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 10:05 AM

And open FH and he hits it into the bottom of the net that was for BPs...this is so unfreakingbelievable!!! Dude focus it's the FO final...

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:05 AM

Man, that 15-30 passing shot was a huge missed opportunity.

Posted by Maha - *RG officially in state of chaos - Roger, seize your chance?????* 06/07/2009 at 10:05 AM

Omg I'm worried guys :S
I reach home and get access to Internet and streams in about 30 min.... I can't help thinking about that nutcase.... Something terrible has happened in tennis this way before.... And the rubbish RG security could have let it happen again!!!!!! >:(

Posted by david 06/07/2009 at 10:05 AM

How remarkable that soderling is hanging tough.

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 10:06 AM

And that FH he miss may come back and bite him in the you know what...dude hold your darn serve...ALLEZ!!!

Posted by † Hallelujah 06/07/2009 at 10:06 AM

Roger's not playing that great, mis-timing his backhand, Soderling's just too nervous to take advantage.

Roger needs to break and take this set, put the match beyond Soderling before he gets his teeth into it.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Dinara Safina the new WTA #1) 06/07/2009 at 10:06 AM

Huge fh from Robin, so happy he is making a match of this set. I don't want the rain to come as he is starting to hit some nice shots and press Fed on his service game.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Soderling has friends. 06/07/2009 at 10:06 AM

Stop the play, it's raining too hard, this is ridiculous.

Posted by sic (¡este chico es Pata Negra!) 06/07/2009 at 10:07 AM

Come on Robin!!

Posted by sally 06/07/2009 at 10:07 AM

tennis must attract all the nuts.

Posted by yello fuzzy 06/07/2009 at 10:08 AM

geez Sod...just give Roger the trophy

Posted by Pierre 06/07/2009 at 10:08 AM

And a lovely shot of Federer's mom wearing...a burkha????

Posted by sally 06/07/2009 at 10:08 AM

tennis attracts all kind of nuts

Posted by Nam1 06/07/2009 at 10:08 AM

If there is a rain delay, we may have a match on our hands..

Is Robin settling down perchance?

Posted by Roger That 06/07/2009 at 10:09 AM

I've heard it on good authority that was Uncle Toni going after Roger...

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 10:09 AM

Yeah! Rog holds to go up 5-4. It would be wonderful if he could break here and take the set. I could exhale. Cmon, Rog!

Posted by Jacko (Private Detective) (Sick of unnecessary JJ bashing) 06/07/2009 at 10:09 AM

hmmm...neither player seems bothered by the rain......i wonder who will be affected more??....Roger has ben a bit shaken....and he cud let that brew..or he cud realise....i cud actually do this...and get tight.....or it cud relax him over the fan thing...
Soderlign has loosened up......and i wonder if he goes off and comes back on...will he get tight again???

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:09 AM

Time to pounce, Fed. Ratchet up the focus.

Posted by Codge 06/07/2009 at 10:10 AM

Looking good.
What kind of flag was it the nuisance was waving? Anyone pick that up?

I pray for no rain delay. I don't need Soderling to regroup just yet.

Posted by toonie 06/07/2009 at 10:10 AM

Please break his serve roger, a 2 set lead should trump scary guy on court.

Posted by Andrew 06/07/2009 at 10:10 AM

Two holds, 5-4.

Federer missed a sitter pass at 15-30 in the Soderling serve game, and he may regret it later. Soderling has visibly gained in confidence as the set has gone on. He's serving better, beginning to direct play more with his groundstrokes. It's windy and raining.

Posted by Mike 06/07/2009 at 10:11 AM

Sure that wasn't Nole in an Indian headdress doing a rain dance around Fed? LOL

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Dinara Safina the new WTA #1) 06/07/2009 at 10:11 AM

Another huge ccfh from the Sod. Where is Swiss Viking?

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:12 AM

That drop shot retrieval was huge for the Swede.

5-all, and Soderling with a little extra spring in his step.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Soderling has friends. 06/07/2009 at 10:12 AM

Hehehe on those who thought Robin wouldn't fight and it would be easy for Rog.

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 10:13 AM

That sitter he missed, is still pissing me off...c'mon dude hold...Soderling is getting into his grove...

Posted by jb... (Go Smiley Fed!) 06/07/2009 at 10:13 AM

Soderling has settled nicely. Fed's rhythm on the ground is off, though he's still serving well.

%$#@% crazy person.

C'mon fed! hold. then break? please? i could do without a tb, really i could.

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 10:14 AM

This is probably heading to a TB...I refuse to be frazzled, I refuse ot be frazzled...ALLEZ!!!

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 10:14 AM

Roger holds again at love for 5-5. Both guys serving really well and giving up very few points on their serve.

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:14 AM

Fed brings the first serve to that game. 6-5. Next 10-15 minutes will be just a wee bit significant.

Posted by Andrew 06/07/2009 at 10:15 AM

Two more holds, 6-5 Federer, on serve.

Both players now holding cleanly on serve. Rain picking up, apparently. We can't tell what's in the players' heads, but they seem to have shaken off the crazed fan incident.

Posted by sic (¡este chico es Pata Negra!) 06/07/2009 at 10:15 AM

Did the Eurosport commentators just say that they had put an extra layer of sand on the court before the final to "soak up the rain that was forecast"?! That can't be true can it? If it is, I guess a happy side effect is that the ball wouldn't bounce as high as it has during Soderling's amazing run through this tournament.

Posted by Roger That 06/07/2009 at 10:15 AM

Rain, rain go away...

Posted by Josh 06/07/2009 at 10:15 AM

Well, the really good news is that Federer is hitting his forehand and serve as well as ever in this match, and Robin is having little luck reading either. The various sidespins Fed puts on the ball with his forehand may be having an effect.

C'mon Roger take it now!

Posted by xerxes 06/07/2009 at 10:16 AM

http://24xtv.com/sources/ustr3.html

Posted by Azhdaja 06/07/2009 at 10:16 AM

They play horrible!!
Both of them.
Shame for tennis!

Posted by xerxes 06/07/2009 at 10:16 AM

http://24xtv.com/sources/ustr3.html

Posted by † Hallelujah 06/07/2009 at 10:16 AM

no rain please. let's leave coaches and time outs out of this.

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:16 AM

Huge forehand from Soderling for 15-all. Huge point.

Posted by jb... (Go Smiley Fed!) 06/07/2009 at 10:16 AM

i think both players want to continue. interupted matches aren't fun for anyone.

Posted by Maha - *RG officially in state of chaos - Roger, seize your chance?????* 06/07/2009 at 10:17 AM

Aaaaaaagh is it heading to a TB?!?!?!?!

*frazzle frazzle frazzle*

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 10:17 AM

And another huge FH by Soderling...wowzer.....

Posted by Josh 06/07/2009 at 10:17 AM

BTW, for the record I think Wilander loves Fed. All his critical comments fall into the category of "if I were your coach this is the straight talk you'd get".

He's also said he would like nothing better than for Mathieu to win the French, and for Roger to win the French and beat Sampras' record.

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 10:18 AM

And one more ridiculous FH...40-15

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:18 AM

Soderling really beginning to crank his forehand. Confident play from the Swede.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Soderling has friends. 06/07/2009 at 10:18 AM

Kom nu, Robin hold and then take it in a tie breaker.

Posted by TennisRone 1000 06/07/2009 at 10:18 AM

Sod starting to tag that FH. Putting pressure on Rog...TB time?

Posted by Aussiemarg Madame President finally comes out of rehab and rejoices in Vamos Forever 06/07/2009 at 10:19 AM

Wowser shot by Roger Allez!

Posted by seaweed 06/07/2009 at 10:19 AM

awesome fh pass from rog. deuce.

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:19 AM

Amazing return, and then the forehand pass for deuce.

C'mon, Fed!

Posted by toonie 06/07/2009 at 10:19 AM

Duece

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 10:20 AM

Great DTL FH pass by Fed to bring the game to deuce! Crowd chanting. Cmon, Fed, avoid a TB!

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 10:20 AM

And then dumps a routine return into the bottom of the net...nervous much...and then mishits a BH to get it back to deuce...

Posted by seaweed 06/07/2009 at 10:20 AM

a bh pass from rog. have ever seen robin come to the net so often?

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 10:21 AM

Another DTL passing shot for deuce! This time a BH.

Posted by Beckham (Bus Conductor!!!) 06/07/2009 at 10:21 AM

And then a huge serve by Soderling...please JSN to TBs...JSN...

Posted by david 06/07/2009 at 10:21 AM

win the breaker sods!! make a match of this!!!

Posted by Azhdaja 06/07/2009 at 10:21 AM

there's very little run, almost none.!? Ohh, well...what can you expect from a #26 and a slumpy Federer??

Rafa and Djoker, please come back!

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 10:22 AM

Oh, god, a TB. Where is greenhopper? She promised us pacemakers.

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:22 AM

Okay, Fed. Time to bear down. Tiebreak.

Posted by toonie 06/07/2009 at 10:22 AM

crap a tiebreak

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 10:22 AM

Come on Roger!!!!!

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Dinara Safina the new WTA #1) 06/07/2009 at 10:22 AM

TB time. Come on Soderling make a match of it and take the set.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Soderling has friends. 06/07/2009 at 10:22 AM

Tie break, fight Robin fight. Du er den bedste.

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 10:22 AM

An ace from Rog. 1-0.

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 10:22 AM

Sod returns the favor with an ace. 1-1.

Posted by seaweed 06/07/2009 at 10:23 AM

mini-break! rog to serve 2-1

Posted by seaweed 06/07/2009 at 10:23 AM

and an ace. 3-1

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 10:23 AM

Come on Roger!!!!!!

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:23 AM

Keep pushing, Fed. Keep pushing.

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 10:23 AM

Another ace from Rog! 3-1.

Posted by Lurker10 06/07/2009 at 10:24 AM

lolz samantha ellin...you rock baby...i am with you, fight it hard Robin...fight fight fight!

Posted by seaweed 06/07/2009 at 10:24 AM

yet another ace 4-1.

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 10:24 AM

ANOTHER ace from Rog! 4-1!

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:24 AM

Keep pushing, Fed.

FOCUS


AND


FINISH

Posted by seaweed 06/07/2009 at 10:24 AM

rog to serve 5-1.

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:24 AM

Keep pushing, Fed.

FOCUS


AND


FINISH

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 10:24 AM

Sod misses wide again. 5-1 Rog!!!!

Posted by Azhdaja 06/07/2009 at 10:25 AM

Soderling called "the beast"!
All of a sudden. Turned into the second best clay courter?? lol

Posted by Sherlock 06/07/2009 at 10:25 AM

Forkin' Sod. Just hose the tiebreak.

Posted by † Hallelujah 06/07/2009 at 10:25 AM

to spite the rabid Rafa kads, Soderling should retire immediately

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 10:25 AM

Another killer DS by Rog!!! 6-1 with Rog to serve!!!!

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

Just keep doing it.Come on Roger!!!!!!

Posted by Azhdaja 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

the tournament is a fake.

Posted by seaweed 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

set 2 to rog.

Posted by TennisRone 1000 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

Rog is just locked in today. It only took the entire tournament for him to pull it together.

7-1 in the TB. FOCUS and FINISH....right?

Posted by ms. tangerine popsicle (tangi) 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

YES!!!!! An ace for the set!!!! I can't believe it.

Posted by † Hallelujah 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

the perfect tiebreaker: nothing but aces and zero errors.

Posted by Josh 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

Hoooray!!!!

Posted by bunny 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

What a tie-breaker from Federer. That was legendary. havent seen him play a better TB than that.

Posted by sally 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

take that nutty freak who went on court. you won't make roger lose this.

Posted by Jacko (Private Detective) (Sick of unnecessary JJ bashing) 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

Rain has subsided......
ALLEZ ROGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...stunning TB....

Posted by Matt Zemek 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

BOMBS ARE FLYING AROUND COURT CHATRIER!

Fed with FOUR ACES in the deck of tiebreak cards, and he has a two-set lead!

One more set.

One more set.

One more set.


FOCUS


AND


FINISH

Posted by Pspace 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

Good lord. Four aces by Roger. Man...what a comeback from that crazy fan incident.

Posted by Andrew 06/07/2009 at 10:26 AM

4 aces. Wow. Wow.

Federer takes the second set 7-6(1). Well done, Fed. Please don't let him off the hook.

Posted by arbi 06/07/2009 at 10:27 AM

O my god, one more Roger, one more

Posted by Samantha Elin, Soderling has friends. 06/07/2009 at 10:27 AM

I won't give up, come on Robin, take the third. I still believe. Kom nu!

Posted by Azhdaja 06/07/2009 at 10:27 AM

Soderling a man who beat Nadal? Rafael Nadal?? lol...
today the tennis loses.

Posted by kiwibee 06/07/2009 at 10:27 AM

Yes!!!One more set.

Come on Roger!!!!!!

Posted by Tfactor 06/07/2009 at 10:27 AM

This is the Soderling I remember from before. I expect an easy third for Roger, he is playing well and keeping his cool like the champ he is.

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