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SKISTAR SWEDISH OPEN 2011
Soderling Blasts Past Berdych, Sets Ferrer Final
Bastad, Sweden
by ATP Staff | 16.07.2011
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© SkiStar Swedish Open

World No. 5 and home favourite Robin Soderling made clear his intention to win back his 2009 SkiStar Swedish Open title as he dealt a crushing 6-1, 6-0 defeat to No. 8 Tomas Berdych in Saturday’s semi-finals in Bastad.

In the 70-minute rout, the top-seeded Soderling converted five of his 11 break point opportunities and saved the four break points he faced to improve to a 7-3 record over 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Berdych. The 25-year-old Berdych was looking to reach the final in Bastad for the third time after runner-up efforts in 2005 (l. to Nadal) and 2008 (l. to Robredo).

The 26-year-old Soderling is through to the final at the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament for the third year in a row. He won the title in 2009 with victory over Juan Monaco, but was denied in last year’s final by Nicolas Almagro.

The Tibro native is bidding for his fourth ATP World Tour title of the season after victories in Brisbane (d. Roddick), Rotterdam (d. Tsonga) and Marseille (d. Cilic). He improved to a 37-9 mark on the year.

In the second semi-final, second seed David Ferrer upheld his perfect record against fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, improving to an 8-0 mark in their FedEx ATP Head2Head as he prevailed 6-1, 6-3. In ousting the defending champion in 64 minutes, Ferrer capitalised on five of his six break points and won 71 per cent of points on his first serve.

"Nicolas hit quite a lot of mistakes today," assessed Ferrer. "Normally we play long matches so it was strange today. But it was not as easy as the score suggests. I played solid too."

Soderling takes in a 9-4 record against Ferrer as they prepare to face-off in Bastad for the fourth time; Soderling won their last meeting in the 2010 semi-finals.

"It's going to be a very difficult match tomorrow against Robin," said Ferrer. "He's playing unbelievable this week. I need to play my best tennis to beat him and to return very well as he has a great serve. Every final is special for me. I know people will support him, but I will try and play my game."

Like Soderling, the 29-year-old Ferrer is a former champion in Bastad, lifting the winner’s trophy in 2007 (d. Almagro). The Valencia native is chasing his third ATP World Tour title of the season, having triumphed in Auckland (d. Nalbandian) and Acapulco (d. Almagro) in the first two months; he was also runner-up to Rafael Nadal in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona.

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