The story appears on

Page B16

November 14, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Djokovic wins to end Soderling's final hopes

NOVAK Djokovic ruined Robin Soderling's hopes of making the World Tour Finals by edging past the Swede 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to reach the Paris Masters semifinals yesterday.

World No. 3 Djokovic, playing in the quarterfinals of the indoor event for the first time, will face world No. 2 Rafael Nadal or defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France for a place in tomorrow's final.

World No. 10 Soderling's defeat means the French Open runner-up will not go to London for the November 22-29 season finale for the world's top eight players.

Serbia's Djokovic managed a break early in a first set featuring plenty of exciting rallies. Soderling broke back to level the set at 4-4 but Djokovic captured the Swede's serve again immediately and then served for the set, wrapping it up with his opponent hitting a backhand wide.

Soderling fought back in the second set, taking just 28 minutes to win it with an ace.

The third set was tight until Soderling dropped serve by netting a backhand to hand Djokovic a 5-3 lead. The Serb served for the match, sealing victory with Soderling missing a drop shot on match point to bow out after just under two hours.

On Thursday, Nadal kept winning the hard way, overcoming fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Nadal, who saved five match points before taming Nicolas Almagro in another all-Spanish battle on Wednesday, needed two hours and 20 minutes to shrug off a brave challenge from Robredo, seeded 14th in the indoor event.

"I didn't play my best but I played better than yesterday and managed to play big rallies without making mistakes, so that's positive," Nadal said.

Robredo had his chances, serving for the match in the third set, leading 5-4, but Nadal lived up to his reputation as a fierce competitor to recover and seal victory.

Roger Federer's second-round exit in the French capital on Wednesday means Nadal stands an outside chance of finishing the year as world No. 1.

France has two players in the quarterfinals for the first time since 1992 after 15th seed Gael Monfils posted a 6-4, 6-3 win over compatriot Julien Benneteau, who looked exhausted after his shock victory over Federer in the previous round.

Britain's world No. 4 Andy Murray looked tired, too, when he lost 6-1, 3-6, 4-6 to Czech Radek Stepanek.

Despite having battled for over two hours to beat James Blake on Wednesday, finishing in the middle of the night, Murray started well against Stepanek, relying on his strong serve, but then collapsed, making many unforced errors.

"Obviously, I was not at my best but I was not expecting to (be)," Murray said. "It was four o'clock by the time I got to bed and that's not the ideal preparation for a match."

Stepanek faces US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, who moved past Chile's Fernando Gonzalez in dramatic, late action.

Gonzalez won the first set 7-6 (6) and world No. 5 del Potro had just won the second by the same score after surviving seven match points when the Chilean pulled out with a sore right knee.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend