• Soderling, Berdych aim for Bastad semis

    7/15/11 3:19 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Soderling, Berdych aim for Bastad semis Robin Soderling will be going up against Potito Starace in the Swedish Open quarterfinals on Friday. Tomas Berdych is also looking for a spot in the semis as he faces Blaz Kavcic.

    (1) Robin Soderling vs. (8) Potito Starace

    Soderling and Starace will be going head-to-head for the fourth time in their careers when they clash in the quarterfinals of the SkiStar Swedish Open on Friday. After splitting a pair of clay-court encounters, Soderling dominated 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round of this year's Australian Open. Starace, who registers at No. 51 in the world, will have a better chance on the slow stuff. He is a solid 18-17 for the season after wins this week over Julian Reister and Jonathan Dasnierges De Veigy.

    A one-time champion of this event (2009), Soderling has been on the court for a total of 47 minutes so far this week. He earned a first-round bye as the No. 1 seed then annihilated Diego Junqueira 6-0, 6-1 on Wednesday. The fifth-ranked Swede is a stellar 35-9 for his 2011 campaign. This one could be interesting simply due to the surface, but Soderling should prevail in straight sets.

    Blaz Kavcic vs. (3) Tomas Berdych

    Kavcic and Berdych will be squaring off for the second time in their careers and second time this season when they do battle in the Bastad quarters on Friday. Their only previous meeting came at the Chennai Open in January, with Berdych rolling 6-3, 6-3. Kavcic, though, is now in the midst of his best season on tour with 12 ATP match wins. The 79th-ranked Slovak beat Julien Benneteau in three sets on Tuesday before getting a walkover past Juan Monaco (foot) in round two.

    Berdych opened with a bye as the No. 3 seed then trounced Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesday. The eighth-ranked Czech is 33-14 for the year, which has featured consistency but is lacking the standout results that he enjoyed in 2010. This should be more competitive than their Chennai matchup due to the slower surface in Bastad, but Berdych will likely advance in straight sets.

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