• Soderling battles Almagro for Bastad title

    7/17/10 7:55 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Soderling battles Almagro for Bastad title Defending champion Robin Soderling will be looking for his second ATP World Tour title of the season, as he squares off against fourth seed Nicolas Almagro. The players are vying for the SkiStar Swedish Open crown on Sunday.

    World No. 5 Robin Soderling and World No. 20 Nicolas Almagro are set for their sixth career meeting Sunday afternoon, as they battle for the top prize in Bastad. The Swede holds a slender 3-2 edge in the head-to-head series, which includes a straight-set, quarterfinal-round success at the 2009 Swedish Open. Almagro has a 2-1 advantage on clay, having captured their last clash at the 2010 Masters 1000 Madrid.

    Soderling has endured a particularly trying road to the final, forced to battle through three consecutive three-set matches. The defending champion commenced his title defense with a 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-2 victory against fellow Swede Andreas Vinciguerra. Soderling rallied in the quarterfinal to oust Andreas Seppi, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(5). The 25-year-old needed to rally once more in the semifinal, as he downed 2007 Bastad champion David Ferrer 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

    Soderling, who enters into the final with a 34-11 season record, is bidding for his sixth ATP World Tour title. With a successful outcome on Sunday, the Swede will hoist his second title in 2010, adding to a previous run in Rotterdam (def. Youzhny).

    World No. 20 Nicolas Almagro booked a championship berth with wins over Jarkko Nieminen, qualifier Franco Skugor and fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo. The fourth seed is slated to make his second appearance in the Swedish Open final.

    Like his opponent, Almagro will attempt to pocket his sixth ATP World Tour title. The 24-year-old looks to take his first crown since 2009, when he sealed a title-winning run in Acapulco. Almagro has compiled a 5-2 record in championship finals.

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soderling on fire in the 2nd set.....good match so far

vamos nico!!

vrael , 7/18/10 3:13 PM

soderling looks dejected

im happy nico won...VAMOS

vrael , 7/18/10 4:14 PM

smr , 7/18/10 4:29 PM

Soderling is over-hyped, so he had two lucky breaks by beating Rafa and Roger at the FO two years running, but let's face it, he is not a serial winner, his is up there one minute and down there the next, even with the field in Sweden, he has needed 3 sets to get through each round, and I was quietly confident that Algagro would see him off.

Well Don Nico.

nadline , 7/18/10 4:47 PM

hey nadline stop gloating one may think you are English...

croc , 7/18/10 5:53 PM

croc, what does being English have to do with Nico and Sod?

nadline , 7/18/10 6:36 PM

nothing... but gloating is an english trait not worthy of you

croc , 7/18/10 6:53 PM

I call it making my point, because Rafa is being put down all the time because of the likes of Soderling, and I have been making the point that he is not all that special, he's had a few lucky wins, so I just can't accept that he is any threat to Rafa at all.

nadline , 7/18/10 7:26 PM

Well done Almagro, finally maintains his consistency throughout the tournament to win it in the end. I hope that is the beginning of good things coming his way, though please not at the expense of Rafa. With this win, I think his ranking will rise again.

Also, I must congratulate Montanes too for his win at Stuttgart, second title for the season, well done. He too will rise a few spots in the ranking.

Wow, the Spaniards are certainly doing very well in sports at the moment. Good for them.

luckystar , 7/18/10 7:26 PM

croc: Tell me, pray where did you get the idea 'gloating' is a pecularly English trait? Anyway, I dont think Nadline's comment constitutes gloating and I happen to agree with her when she says Soderling is over-hyped. If anybody 'gloats' it is Soderling when he beats a higher ranked player! I find his manner of celebrating quite offensive.

ed251137 , 7/18/10 7:26 PM

croc , 7/18/10 7:50 PM

croc , 7/18/10 7:57 PM

I don't think it serves any purpose to make nonsensical statements like - the english are known for gloating! That is absolutely false on its face! Any time someone makes these generalizations, I cringe!

Even though Sod is #5 and could challenge Murray for #4, I still believe that he has been over-hyped. His movement on court is absymal. When his booming serve isn't working, he doesn't have the game to compensate. His physical conditioning is also not where it needs to be for him to have a shot at winning a grand slam. He has also been wildly inconsistent this year.

Gulbis should not even be in the discussion now. He's not over-hyped, he's just someone who has not come close to reaching his potential. After he beat Fed at Rome and took a set off Rafa, suddenly everyone jumped on the bandwagon singing his praises to the heavens. He ended up having to retire with an injury in the first round of RG. He wasn't even able to play at Wimbledon.

There is nothing remotely humble or modest about Sod!

Nativenewyorker , 7/18/10 9:18 PM

mara002 , 7/19/10 12:47 AM

Great win Nico, Vamos and keep up the good work!!! I'm so happy for him to finally win a title.

This guy has lots of heart and I think this win will be the propulsion fuel he needs to win more tournaments. All it takes is one good win, and now that he's done that, I'm sure we should see him win more tournaents and/or go deeper in others.

I agree with those who state that Soderling is inconsistent. I feel his time in the top 10 will not be as long-lived as many feel. He is a very incomplete player, who's solely reliant on his serve, and when the opponent gets a good read on it, his game goes south. Then, when his serve misfires, so does his FH, and his game becomes a bundle of UEs. Not to mentin his net and volleying skills which, at times, are pretty comedic to watch.

Well, now that I've taken the Sod to pieces, LOL, I can say Mazel tov to Nico! Go out and win some more.

I must confess though, that a great part of my jubilation is for Murray's No.4 ranking spot, which is still in tact -- thank you Nico. Andy needs to send Nico a bottle of bubbly. Deuce, since you're the official Murray fan on this site, I'm placing that job squarely on your shoulders, for you to do the honours of having that bottle of champers delivered to Nico with mucho gratis.

Von , 7/19/10 1:40 AM

soderlings definitely been over hyped. He is just a one trick pony who plays an all or nothing game. His strategy? serve huge and hit every ball as hard as you can. If that doesnt work,hit the ball even harder,and finally if that doesnt work,screw the match.

In practical terms he far too often finds himself with poor court position to execute. Better players find it a relatively simple task to force him into the Doubles Alleys from behind the base line where he routinely overhits on both wings, especially his Forehand. Soderling basically just clubs the ball whenever he can rather than take time to construct the point in such a way to put the best guys out of the way they want to play. Against better players you have to use your brains more than your braun. He's not The Thinker on the court Federer is, or Nadal, or even someone like Del Potro. He's like a lot of the Top 10 guys who are below Top 5: the opportunist who could pose dangers to many, but has a hard time avoiding the dangers to himself.

tj600 , 7/19/10 3:58 AM

" He's like a lot of the Top 10 guys who are below Top 5: the opportunist who could pose dangers to many, but has a hard time avoiding the dangers to himself."

Please tell me you don't mean this? There's a GS title holder, 5 time finalist at GS, and has 30 titles to his CV, in the bottom part of the top 10, viz., Andy Roddick, who may not be on your list of faves, but IMO, he's got a lot more going for him and don't deserve that tag you've described.

Von , 7/19/10 7:01 AM

von-absolutely. Roddicks definitely got more going for him than Soderling does. Its why I said "a lot of the top 10 guys..." Not everyone.

tj600 , 7/19/10 7:22 AM

Von: cheers, it's on its way! Actually I think Amalgro is a really classy player, but what's with him? Is it fitness, his head, Rafa's shadow? Who knows?

deuce , 7/19/10 7:43 AM

tj600 is right, players can often break into the Top 10 on the back of a winning streak (particularly when there is a spate of injuries amongst the legitimate members of the club). Defending points and adding to the tally year in and year out is the true measure of success. It remains to be seen if Soderling is will be in the top 10 a year from now. My guess is he will be top 20, rather than a top 10.

ed251137 , 7/19/10 9:05 AM

@tj600 , 7/19/10 3:58 AM
_He's not The Thinker on the court Federer is_
Let me remind You that Federer has said he can play without thinking, except on clay court.
"The reason why clay has not been so easy for me is that on the other surfaces I can play my game WITHOUT thinking," Federer said. "Everything happens naturally. I can turn defence to offence when I want to and how I want to. When I play well I know I can dominate players."

Read more in: d-a-volley-or-a-serve-its-too-easy-1979825.html

Augustina08 , 7/19/10 11:04 AM

"Defending points and adding to the tally year in and year out is the true measure of success." -- ed

That's right ed, and it's the reason I feel Roddick is so under-appreciated. He has been the only player to be in the top 10 for 9+ years together with Federer. And, they both have one one or more titles each year.

When David Ferrer got into the top 10 a few years ago, due to a good run at the USO and Cincy, I mentioned it was a fluke, and quite a few posters found what I said to be unkind, but what happened? It turned out Ferrer remained in the top 10 for about 8 months, then he fell out of it, and now, it seems that he'll never return. I feel the same wil happen to Soderling that he will fall out of the top 10 if he fails to reach RG next year and does no go deep in any of the other slams to make up for the deficit in points. Soderling, does not have many go to weapons, except for his one major weapon, his serve, which is not reliable all of the time, and when that fails, he cannot change his game, as he has nothing else on which to rely to win. Also, as tj600 says, he's not a thinker, so that makes it difficult for him to change strategy mid-way in a match. If soderling becomes a permanenet fixture in the top 10, then I'll owe him an apology, but as of this writing, IMO, he won't do so, however, only time will tell.

Von , 7/19/10 3:33 PM

tj600, got ya. Sorry for the misinterpretation of your comments.

Von , 7/19/10 3:35 PM

Current ATP-rankings

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