The arrival of power hitters on clay

Updated: May 20, 2012, 11:41 PM ET
By Kamakshi Tandon | ESPN.com

ROME -- When Robin Soderling defeated Rafael Nadal at the French Open in 2009, he wasn't just pulling off one of the bigger upsets in tennis history, he was also signaling the arrival of power players as a real force on clay. Another big hitter, Fernando Gonzalez, also made the semifinals that year, losing to Soderling. The next year, Soderling defeated Roger Federer, and then faced Tomas Berdych in another cannonball contest in the semifinals.

Soderling, who continues to be sidelined with ...

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