Defending champion Nadal knocked out

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Four-times French Open champion Rafael Nadal could not continue his winning streak at Roland Garros and suffered a thumping defeat by Robin Soderling.

Updated: May 31, 2009 15:25 IST
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Rafael Nadal's unbeaten run at the French Open is over.

The four-time defending champion lost to Robin Soderling of Sweden 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 7-6 (2) on Sunday in the fourth round, ending his record 31-match winning streak at Roland Garros.

Soderling, seeded 23rd at this year's tournament, ran Nadal ragged on center court with his hard serve and booming forehand.

Nadal has dominated the French Open since his first match on the red clay at Roland Garros. In his 31 previous matches, he had lost only seven sets - the last one coming against Roger Federer in the 2007 final.

Defending women's champion Ana Ivanovic also lost Sunday, while top-seeded Dinara Safina advanced to the quarterfinals with another easy win.

Also on the men's side, No. 3 Andy Murray of Britain and No. 12 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile made the quarterfinals.

Nadal had won three of the last four major titles, missing out only on the US Open. Because he won the Australian Open, he had been the only man with a chance to complete a Grand Slam.

He had also been trying to become the first man to win five straight French Open titles.

Instead, the draw has completely opened up for three-time finalist Roger Federer. The former No. 1 needs only to win the French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam, and his road got clearer on Saturday when potential semifinal opponent Novak Djokovic was eliminated.

The eighth-seeded Ivanovic did little right on Court Suzanne Lenglen, converting only two of five break points and making 20 unforced errors in her 6-2, 6-3 loss to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

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