1 Jun 2009

Bad day for champions at Roland Garros

11:49 am on 1 June 2009

The French Open has witnessed one of the greatest upsets in the history of the tennis tournament, with the world number one Rafael Nadal suffering his first ever defeat at Roland Garros.

His hopes of picking a record fifth successive title in Paris were crushed by Sweden's Robin Soderling.

The Swede played the match of his life to humble arguably the greatest ever claycourter 6-2 6-7 6-4 7-6 in the fourth round.

It was Nadal's first defeat at Roland Garros in five tournaments.

The result was the biggest upset in the sport since a then little-known Federer snapped Pete Sampras's 31-match winning streak at Wimbledon in the fourth round in 2001.

The defending women's champion Ana Ivanovic also bade an early farewell, losing in straight sets to the Belarussian Victoria Azarenka.

The 19-year-old Azarenka now plays world no.1 Dinara Safina in the quarter finals, who is bidding for her first grand slam title.

The men's third seed Andy Murray was also in sparkling form as he knocked out Croatia's Marin Cilic in straight sets.

With fourth seed Novak Djokovic also out, the Briton will fancy his chances of facing three-times runner-up Roger Federer in the final.