Djokovic Ends Swede Soderling's London Dreams

Novak Djokovic ruined Robin Soderling's hopes of making the World Tour Finals by edging past the Swede 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to reach the Paris Masters semifinals on Friday.Serbia's Djokovic managed a break early in a
djokovic ends swede soderling s london dreams -...
PTI November 14, 2009 10:02 IST

Novak Djokovic ruined Robin Soderling's hopes of making the World Tour Finals by edging past the Swede 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to reach the Paris Masters semifinals on Friday.

Serbia's Djokovic managed a break early in a first set featuring plenty of exciting rallies. Soderling broke back to level the set at 4-4 but Djokovic captured the Swede's serve again immediately and then served for the set, wrapping it up with his opponent hitting a backhand wide.

Soderling fought back in the second set, taking just 28 minutes to win it with an ace.

The third set was tight until Soderling dropped serve by netting a backhand to hand Djokovic a 5-4 lead. The Serb served for the match, sealing victory with Soderling missing a drop shot on match point to bow out after just under two hours.

Earlier on Thursday, Rafael Nadal kept winning the hard way edging past fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals.

Nadal, who saved five match points before taming Nicolas Almagro in another all-Spanish battle on Wednesday, needed two hours and 20 minutes to shrug off a brave challenge from Robredo, seeded 14th in the indoor event.

Robredo had his chances, serving for the match in the third set, leading 5-4, after Nadal dropped serve with a double fault. Nadal then lived up to his reputation as a fierce competitor, breaking back immediately and capturing Robredo's serve again two games later to seal victory.

The first match point was wasted by Nadal but on the second Robredo hit a forehand wide to bow out.

Roger Federer's second-round exit in the French capital on Wednesday means Nadal stands an outside chance of finishing the year as world number one.

Tsonga stayed in contention for a berth at the World Tour Finals in London by downing fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-2 6-3.

France will have two players in the quarter-finals for the first time since 1992 after 15th seed Gael Monfils posted a 6-4, 6-3 win over Julien Benneteau, who looked exhausted after his shock victory over Federer in the previous round.

Britain's world number four Andy Murray looked tired, too, when he lost 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Czech Radek Stepanek.

In spite of having battled for over two hours to beat James Blake on Wednesday, finishing in the middle of the night, Murray started well against Stepanek, relying on his strong serve, but then collapsed, making many unforced errors.

 
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