PARIS (AFP) Robin Soderling gatecrashed Roland Garros for the second successive year on Tuesday as the free-swinging Swede sent defending champion and 16-time Grand Slam king Roger Federer spinning to a shock defeat. Twelve months on from condemning four-time champion Rafael Nadal to his first loss in Paris, Soderling again unleashed his sledgehammer forehand to beat the world number one 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in the quarter-finals. It was Federers earliest Grand Slam exit in six years and Soderlings first triumph over the Swiss in 12 meetings, including the final here last year. Soderlings win, achieved on a gloomy, wet evening in Paris, brought to an end Federers record run of 23 successive Grand Slam semi-final appearances, stretching back to his third round defeat to Gustavo Kuerten here in 2004. It also set up a semi-final clash against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic who eased past Mikhail Youzhny of Russia. Federer, who saw 14 aces and 19 forehand winners from the Swede sap his spirit, said he had let his chances slip away, but paid tribute to his opponent. Im disappointed to a certain degree. I didnt think I played a bad match so its easier to go out this way, said Federer. The conditions were really rough, but he came up with some great tennis. In best of five set matches, you always get chances. I had those at 5-4 in the second set. But he kept on coming and played aggressive. Soderling was delighted to have achieved a second successive French Open shock. I love playing on this court. I have been here for two weeks and have been playing better and better with each match, said the Swede. Today I played really well. It cant get much better than this to beat the world number one on this court. The fifth seed added: Its great to beat the world number one and the defending champion two years running here. I played great tennis even in the first set, I just didnt serve very well. The balls got heavier and these kind of conditions suit my game pretty well. I wanted to serve well and take the ball early. He had chances in the second set as well as the first. But I saved some big points and that was very important. I could relax and then I played better and better. Federer swept through the first set with a crucial break in the eighth game, having surrendered just two points on his own serve. But the Swede suddenly cranked up his response in the second, with regular repeat showings of the forehand devastation which stunned Nadal last year. He broke to lead 2-0, shrugged off a double fault on a second set point before levelling the tie when Federer dumped a forehand into the net. It was only the third set the Swede had taken off the world number one in 32 contested. Soderling fought off a set point in the 10th game of the third set which was being played under heavy skies and incessant drizzle which became increasingly heavy. Not surprisingly, play was suspended with Federer 30-15 ahead in the 11th game. On the resumption, 75 minutes later, Soderling broke to lead 6-5 after a Federer double fault opened the door. The 25-year-old Swede thought the set was his when a Federer forehand looked long, but the point was ordered to be replayed. It didnt matter, however, as an 11th ace then thundered past the Swiss to give Soderling a two sets to one lead on the back of three times as many winners as the champion. Federer broke to lead 2-1 in the fourth set, but Soderling returned the favour in the next game Federer was now under siege on Court Philippe Chatrier, having to fight off three break points in the seventh game before capitulating in the ninth to fall 5-4 down when a wild backhand sailed long and out. Soderling then secured his famous win after 2hr 30min when Federer went long with a weary return. Meanwhile, Tomas Berdych finally made his Grand Slam breakthrough at the French Open on Tuesday crushing Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 to reach Fridays semi-finals. It was the first time that the towering Czech had made it through to the last four of a Grand Slam event at the age of 24. His previous best had been a lone quarter-final appearance at Wimbledon in 2007. And it signaled that finally Berdych is beginning to live up to the potential he showed as a rising teenage star after years of under-achievement. Next up for him will be Swedish fifth seed Robin Soderling who upset top seed and defending champion Roger Federer in the days other quarter-final. There are a lot of emotions coming through and I havent had too much time to think about it, but I am feeling great and its nice to be enjoying every day and playing tennis so well every day, he said I am playing well, but I just want to keep it a little bit lower and I hope I can still bring something different for the next games. I still need to play aggressive but with more control and be more patient. In a match sandwiched around a 75-minute rain delay, Berdych totally dominated a strangely passive Youzhny, seeded 11th, four places higher than his opponent. Breaks in the third and ninth games of the first set were enough to give Berdych the first set and it was at 1-1 in the second when the players were sent running for cover as a heavy rain shower engulfed a chilly Roland Garros. On the resumption over an hour later, Berdych rammed home his advantage winning five games in a row against an increasingly frustrated looking Youzhny. The Russian took a toilet break after which he finally stopped the rot by holding serve to open the third set. The rain briefly came down again after Berdych had made it 1-1, but this time the players stayed on court and the match resumed a few minutes later. There was no respite for Youzhny though as Berdych powered away to reach the semi-finals without the loss of a set. Turning to Soderling, Berdych said: He reached the final last year so he has a lot of experience of playing here. He beat Roger Federer today and that is always a great result to achieve. We played a couple of matches, the last being in Miami where I played a good match and won. It could be a small advantage, but here it is the best of five sets and the semi-finals of a Grand Slam. Golden chance for Dementieva Opportunity knocks again for Elena Dementieva at the French Open and she hopes that her familiarity with her favourite city Paris can provide her with the inspiration to at last grab her chance. The tall, blonde Russian defeated compatriot Nadia Petrova in three sets to reach what will be her ninth appearance in a Grand Slam semi-final at the age of 28. She even twice made it to finals, in 2004 in Paris and at the US Open. On both occasions she lost to Russians, Anastasia Myskina here and Svetlana Kuznetsova a few months later in New York. Dementieva admits that not winning a Grand Slam title is getting hard to take. Well, for sure its on my mind, she said. I mean, I was in the final a couple times in the semi-final and never won the Grand Slam. This is one of the biggest goals in my career left. This is a great motivation for me. But coming to the Grand Slam Im not thinking about my chances. Im not thinking about, you know, thats the one. Im just trying to take one match at a time and trying to build my game and play my best. You cannot think about winning a Grand Slam. Its a two week competition, and anything can happen to you. Im just glad to be in the semi-finals. Lets see if I can handle this challenge. Dementieva knows she will have to play better in Thursdays semi-final against savvy Italian Francesca Schiavone than she did in a scrappy encounter against Petrova which swung her way 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 after her fellow Muscovite re-injured her left thigh. Her suspect serve was again a burden early on and she was uncustomarily wild with her groundstrokes. Dementieva though believes that she has now gained enough experience to be able to cope with the pressures. Its not about showing your best tennis. Its about winning matches, she said. In these kind of weather conditions, you really have to push yourself very hard and stay positive, try to win no matter what. She also believes that Paris is the place where she can perform best in sealing a lifelong love affair with the city especially the area around Montmartre and the Champs Elysees. I played my first final here, my first Grand Slam final, said the Russian who is a fluent French speaker. Its always been a very special tournament for me. I like it here. This is my favourite Grand Slam. I just have so many great memories of playing on Philippe Chatrier Court, and just here in Paris. So every time Im coming here I really feel inspired by the crowd. I just love to play here.