Paris - The Swedish press were harsh in their judgment of Robin Soderling on Monday, the day after his straight sets loss to Rafael Nadal in the French Open final.
The written press were united in claiming the 25-year-old Swede had played like "a little boy" compared to the all-conquering Spaniard who won through 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.
"Soderling falls heavily in Paris," headlined the Dagens Nyheter (DN) under a photo of a worried-looking Soderling with his face half hidden behind a towel.
The newspaper noted that Soderling had now "lost a second straight French Open final."
Rival daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) published a photo of Soderling looking imploringly towards the sky.
"Robin Soderling played like a little boy on several break points," the newspaper estimated.
"Nadal was a lot stronger than Soderling," wrote DN in dark letters over two inside pages, stating that the Swede had "not played at his top level, but all the same not too bad."
Nevertheless his performance "was far from enough against the best clay court player in the history of tennis," wrote DN, who noted that Soderling had "not succeeded in finishing off any of his eight breaks."
While DN noted that Soderling would be hard pressed to hold on to his sixth position in the world rankings, SvD believes that the Swede is "at the summit (of the tennis hierarchy) to stay."
Soderling also drew comparisons with another player, Czech Ivan Lendl, who had to wait for his success.
"Ivan Lendl failed in his first four Grand Slam finals. He finished his career with eight Grand Slam titles," noted SvD, as the tabloid Expressen urged Soderling: "Remain calm, soon you will be the best in the world."