Bjorn Borg sent Robin Soderling a text message after his astonishing victory over Rafael Nadal on Sunday, thanking his fellow Swede for ending the world No 1's attempt to break the record of four consecutive French Open victories that he shares with the Spaniard.
Like most other observers, Borg might have expected Soderling's run to end in yesterday's quarter-finals, but the 24-year-old world No 25 produced another blistering performance to sweep aside Nikolay Davydenko, the world No 11. Soderling won 6-1, 6-3, 6-1.
The same combination of big ground strokes and thunderous serves that accounted for Nadal quickly saw off Davydenko, who had looked to be rediscovering the form that took him to No 3 in the world rankings three years ago when he beat Stanislas Wawrinka and Fernando Verdasco in his two previous matches. The Russian forced only two break points all match and did not take either of them. He won only 10 points in the first set and the match was over after an hour and 41 minutes.
Soderling had never gone beyond the third round in 21 previous Grand Slam tournaments and in five previous visits to Roland Garros had won only three matches. He now meets Fernando Gonzalez in the semi-finals.