Djokovic Closing On Lendl; Soderling Wins Opener
Madrid, Spain
by ATP Staff | 04.05.2011
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Second seed Novak Djokovic kept alive his extraordinary 28-match winning streak this year by beating Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-3, 6-4 at the Mutua Madrid Open on Wednesday.

With five titles to his name this year, the Serbian is now one win from Ivan Lendl's record of 29 victories at the start of the 1986 season. "Well it's a great honour of course it’s very flattering to be part of that elite but it’s not my priority," said Djokovic. "I’m really taking one match at a time and I hope I can win.

Djokovic, who beat Anderson en route to the Sony Ericsson Open at Miami in March, dropped 14 points on serve for victory in one hour and 41 minutes. "Well I'm happy with today’s performance first, its obviously the first match in Madrid after two years, and conditions here are really fast and its hard to control the ball," he added.

"If your playing a good server like Anderson  it’s a big effort to make a break and I tried very hard, it was a lot of work but I did twice every set which was enough."

On his last appearance in the Spanish capital, Djokovic failed to convert three match points in a four-hour-plus loss to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.

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Fifth seed Robin Soderling, who is now being coached by Fredrik Rosengren, bounced back from a quarter-final exit to Juan Martin del Potro at the Estoril Open last week, hit nine aces for a 6-3, 6-3 win over Santiago Giraldo of Colombia in 81 minutes.

The Swede improved to a 22-5 match record on the season, which includes three ATP World Tour titles.

Seventh seed Tomas Berdych converted six of nine break point opportunities to record his 21st win of the year on day three. The Czech outclassed Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-4, 6-0 in 77 minutes.

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