Better late than never... I was searching for Robin's remaining tournament schedule to see how he intends to get to London and ran across this interview from Beijing after he defeated Tsonga. I was really looking hard for something like this at the time too, and was frustrated by their lack of interview transcripts. Anyway, the interview is too good not to post it. This is from October 15, 2009 after Robin defeated Tsonga:An interview with:ROBIN SODERLING 2009-10-15 23:26
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. First of all, it was a big match for you. Can you talk about that in regards to points for London and you two being so close?
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, well, I try not to think about it too much, because it only makes me nervous, so I try to ?? I try to focus on every match instead and hopefully do well in every match.
I know that if I play well, I have a chance, but this tournament won't decide who's going to play in London. I mean, there's still a lot of tennis to be played this year, and there's a couple of big tournaments coming up. So I have to keep on doing well the rest of the year.
Q. This point, this moment in the first set where there is a controversial 30?All, 40?30 or 30?40, how did you live that, and how did you see that point?
ROBIN SODERLING: Well, at first I thought the umpire was counting wrong, because I was sure it was a break. So I went to the umpire to tell him, no, it's wrong, it's a break, but what I didn't know was that the umpire called his passing shot out at 30?All, which I didn't hear, which he didn't hear.
So there's not much I can do. I was happy about it, but I wish the umpire would have called it a little bit louder so everybody could hear it.
Q. The first time you played in Shanghai was actually in 2003. You actually play very good in the semifinal.
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, it's a long time ago. Time goes fast.
Q. Did you remember the time, six years ago? And I remember six years ago you come here like were No. 100. Now you are almost No. 10. So can you talk about your involvement and development as a player? Also, tournament in Shanghai.
ROBIN SODERLING: It's going in the right way, at least, if you look at the rankings.
No, I remember I think Shanghai was actually the first ?? I think it was the first ATP tournament I was in without the wildcard. I played in Stockholm and in Bastad at home in Sweden before, but that was with a wildcard, so I think, yeah, Shanghai was my first one.
I did well. As you said, I think I reached the semis and I liked it. I liked it a lot. I think the venue is very nice. Even though this is maybe a little bit nicer, you know, I think you improved, but I have only good memories from Shanghai.
Q. You had long hair at that time.
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, I was young. (laughter.)
Q. Obviously you have a great season this year. Do you think how much that Marcus Norman helped you to improve your tennis?
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, he happened me a lot. He used to be a great player, but he's also a very good coach, which is not the case; he doesn't have to be that way. But he's really a good coach, and he helped me a lot.
We worked a lot on many aspects of my game, and, you know, I really listen to him. I really believe in what he says, and I think it showed that it gave me some results.
Q. What do you feel made the difference today? Were you surprised also by the level of Jo going down?
ROBIN SODERLING: Well, yeah, he was playing really good in the beginning, I'd say the first five or six games, but, you know, I expected him to play well because he's a great player and he's in good form coming in from Tokyo. He won last week.
But, yeah, he maybe dropped a little bit. His level dropped a little bit after I broke him the first time. But I think even though the score was 3 and 3, I think it was a pretty close match, and I'm very happy that I played well, because I really needed to play well today.
Q. Asia is so far away from your home country, but you did so well in Asia last week in Beijing semifinal and now in Shanghai. So can we say you feel very comfortable in Asia?
ROBIN SODERLING: Yeah, as I said, I like it here. It's very nice. It's far away from Sweden, but it's nice.
It's very different from Sweden, but again, it's nice. I feel very comfortable. People are friendly, you know. The old stadium was very nice. This stadium is very, very nice as well. I have no complaints at all. I like it here.
Q. Just a little fun question. I remember while you are in Heineken Open, they ask a player to try snake.
ROBIN SODERLING: What?
Q. Snake, eat snake.
ROBIN SODERLING: Oh, no. That's not for me.
Q. Maybe Norman is one of them. I'm not sure.
ROBIN SODERLING: Maybe. I will ask him. At least I know he was drinking some Heineken.
Q. My question is: Have you tried anything different or strange in Beijing and Shanghai?
ROBIN SODERLING: No. No, I'm too scared for that. (laughter.)
Wow! I ran into some more great photos from that match I hadn't seen before:
And how the heck can this thread not have the infamous changeover picture of Robin doing his towel ritual: