Swede swinging in the rain - Söderling upsets Federer.
On a red, rain dampened court at the Roland Garros tennis stadium in Paris where his Swedish countrymen, Bjorn Borg and Mats Wilander, won the French Open title nine times in the seventies and eighties, Robin Söderling stripped his world-leading Swiss opponent, Roger Federer, of a 23-game winning streak in the quarter finals on June 1. Previously rated number five in the world, Söderling also broke a dozen-game losing streak against the same legendary ball banger from the Alps that included the last four consecutive bouts in this same tournament by winning this year's net clash 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 and 6-4.

Apparently disturbing his style and timing when rain breaks lasted up to 45 minutes, Federer opened strong but went down fighting like the French WW1 aviation martyr for whom the stadium was named. His loss left him a single week short of equaling the 286 weeks as "world's best" record set by Pete Sampras. The next challenge for Söderling in the semi-finals on June 4 entails what experts predict to become a near walk-over by the Czech opponent, Tomas Berdych, who is making his debut in the French Open.