• Soderling fights off Serra, advances in Rotterdam

    2/8/10 6:36 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Soderling fights off Serra, advances in Rotterdam Robin Soderling comes back from a set down to beat Florent Serra in the Rotterdam first round on Monday afternoon. Soderling advances along with Andreas Seppi, who dismissed qualifier Stephane Bohli.

    Robin Soderling was in danger of seeing his recent slump continue on Monday in Rotterdam, but the world No. 8 stormed back from a set deficit to overcome Florent Serra 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Soderling needed one hour and 46 minutes to reach the second round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

    It was Serra, however, who got off to a hot start in a competitive first set that was only decided by break-point conversions. The 28-year-old Frenchman saved both of the break points he faced, so one break on his lone chance was enough for him to take the opening frame of play.

    Serra had an opportunity to seize a commanding lead in the first game of the second, but he missed a break-point opportunity and it proved to be his last break chance of the match. Soderling broke to love at 5-4 with a crushing backhand winner and from there it was all over. The third-seeded Swede raced to a 5-0 advantage in the third and held to love at 5-1, clinching victory on his first match point when Serra struck a wild backhand.

    Soderling finished with a whopping 26 aces against three double-faults while Serra struck six aces and double-faulted only once.

    Earlier in the day, Andreas Seppi won an all-unseeded encounter against Stephane Bohli, upending the Swiss qualifier 6-1, 7-5. Seppi never faced a break point in the first set and his third break of the afternoon finished off the opening frame of play in style. The Italian surrendered his own serve twice in the second set, but he added another trio of breaks, the last of which came at 6-5 to wrap up the proceedings.

    Seppi won an incredible 25 of 34 second-serve return points en route to a meeting with either No. 8 seed Viktor Troicki or Zagreb semifinalist Jurgen Melzer. Soderling, meanwhile, awaits either Mischa Zverev or Dutch qualifier Igor Sijsling.

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