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  • Soderling crushes Llodra, Cilic upsets Berdych

    2/18/11 6:00 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Soderling crushes Llodra, Cilic upsets Berdych Robin Soderling and Marin Cilic ease into the Marseille semifinals on Friday. They defeat Michael Llodra and Tomas Berdych, respectively.

    (1) Robin Soderling d. (8) Michael Llodra 6-1, 6-4

    There was no repeat of the Soderling-Llodra showdown at last year's Paris Masters, where Soderling saved match points before winning in a third-set tiebreaker. Soderling made sure this one was far more routine. The fourth-ranked Swede fired 13 aces and saved all five of the break points he faced to reach the semifinals of the Open 13 after just one hour and three minutes of play on Friday afternoon.

    All five of Llodra's chances came in the first set, but he squandered each one while also donating his own serve twice. The eighth-seeded Frenchman, who was the defending champion in Marseille, managed to be more competitive in the second. Still, he could not recover from giving away an early break. Soderling lost a mere four points in his last five service games and closed out the match with ease at 5-4. Next up for the top seed is either Jurgen Melzer or Dmitry Tursunov.

    Marin Cilic d. (2) Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-4

    Cilic delivered one of his best performances in months to dismiss Berdych in one hour and 22 minutes during quarterfinal action on Friday. Berdych went into this one with a 10-2 record for his 2011 campaign, but he never had a chance. Cilic dropped only four service points in the first set, so two breaks were more than enough for him to take an early lead.

    After his second break finished off the opening frame of play in style, the unseeded Croat maintained the momentum in set two. Berdych, however, matched his opponent hold for hold throughout the first nine games. The Czech even had a break-point opportunity at 4-4, but he could not recover after missing the chance. Cilic held for 5-4 then broke to end the proceedings. The world No. 28, who struck four aces and won 24 of 28 first-serve points, awaits either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Mikhail Youzhny.

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