• Soderling headlines bottom half in Barcelona

    4/18/10 10:47 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Soderling headlines bottom half in Barcelona Robin Soderling returns to ATP World Tour competition this week, topping the bottom half of the draw at the Barcelona Open BancSabadell. The 25-year-old Swede enters the draw as the second seed.

    World No. 8 Robin Soderling makes his first appearance since a semifinal finish in Miami, as the European clay-court season continues in Barcelona. The 2009 French Open finalist, yet to advance beyond the round of 32, is taking part in his third Barcelona Open BancSabadell.

    Soderling begins the tournament with a 16-5 record, helped by back-to-back runs to the final four in Indian Wells (lost to Roddick) and the Sony Ericsson Open (Berdych). The Swede enters into Barcelona with an ATP World Tour title in hand, having captured the Rotterdam crown over Mikhail Youzhny in February. Soderling will be aiming to win his first clay-court match of the season this week.

    With the absence of a host of top 10 players including: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and a injured Juan Martin Del Potro, Soderling commences the Barcelona event as the second seed, right behind five-time defending champion Rafael Nadal.

    He headlines a potentially tricky half of the draw that hosts third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, sixth seed Tomas Berdych and seventh-seeded Monte-Carlo semifinalist Juan Carlos Ferrero. Additional seeded combatants in the Swede’s half are Juan Monaco, Lleyton Hewitt, Nicolas Almagro and Feliciano Lopez.

    After an opening-round bye, Soderling looks to a possible second-round clash with 2010 Houston title-winner Juan Ignacio Chela. The closest seed in the 25-year-old’s quarter of the draw is the 16th-seeded Feliciano Lopez, who looms as a round of 16 opponent. Should Soderling move into the quarterfinal, he likely faces world No. 15 Tomas Berdych.

    The third-seeded Tsonga highlights his favorable quarter, set for a first-round bye and either Potito Starace or Jan Hajek as a second round challenger. The Frenchman’s nearest seeded player is Almagro, whom he defeated a week ago in Monte-Carlo. Provided the seeds hold as the draw progresses, the 25-year-old will face an in-form Ferrero in the quarterfinals.

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A Soderling-Nadal final would be interesting...

grafight , 4/18/10 11:53 PM

Tsonga and Almagro are getting a nice little rivalry going. Their match at the AO was the best of the tournament. Almagro just needs to win one to make it more interesting.

battre , 4/19/10 1:56 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
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