• Soderling, Cilic move into French Open fourth round

    5/28/10 10:22 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Soderling, Cilic move into French Open fourth round Robin Soderling moved through to the round of 16 in Paris, after taking out opponent Albert Montanes on Friday. The Swede is joined by Marin Cilic, who outlasted Leonardo Mayer in five tough sets.

    (5) Robin Soderling def. (29) Albert Montanes 6-4, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3

    French Open finalist Robin Soderling held on to oust 29th seed Albert Montanes Friday afternoon, 6-4, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. The Swede overcame a sub-par third set, in which he committed 15 unforced errors and surrendered serve twice. The 25-year-old, who converted three of 11 break point chances, struck 20 aces on his way to victory in two hours and 29 minutes of play.

    Soderling is scheduled to square off against 10th seed Marin Cilic for a berth in the quarterfinal.

    (10) Marin Cilic def. Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-4

    Tenth seed Marin Cilic fought his way through to a five-set win over Leonardo Mayer late Friday. The 21-year-old withstood 71 winners from the Argentine and fought off 11 of 14 break points chances. Cilic earned a key service break at 2-2 in the 55-minute decider, holding on to seal the victory in four hours and 13 minutes.

    Cilic and Soderling will contest their first career meeting in the round of 16.

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I predict a Cilic win over Soderling, provided of course we don't see a tired Cilic. As I mentioned on another thread, Cilic can deal with big hitters on clay, better than dealing with clay courters on clay. He also has the varieties in his game to deal with Soderling, and he will not be overpowered by Soderling. He has a good serve and big forehand and backhand; he can also S & V and moves well, though clay is not his favorite surface. I like his mental toughness the most!

(PS. I always like to compare Cilic with Delpo. Though Cilic is not as successful as Delpo, I think he shows some promises that he too has the making of a great player. Delpo seems to be mentally tough like Rafa, and I sometimes wonder whether one was born with such mental toughness, or was it cultivated from young. As for Cilic, I see that initially he isn't mentally tough, but after he has being through some tough five set matches - at USO against Jesse Levine; at AO against Bernard Tomic - he seems to have the self belief now that he can hang in tough and win the match(es) in the end, just like what he has done in today's match.)

luckystar , 5/28/10 11:37 PM

Of course I'm talking about different level of mental toughness here. Rafa's is of a higher level than Cilic's, as Rafa seems to be consistently tough in all situations and is able to gut out so many seemingly impossible wins. That is why I question whether that is inborn or trained from young. I don't think that kind of toughness can be achieved by simply winning a few tough matches!

luckystar , 5/28/10 11:48 PM

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