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Djokovic through to Paris semis

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:55

The Swede needed to at least reach the final to have a chance of claiming the last spot at the prestigious eight-man tournament at London’s O2 later this month, but lost 6-4 1-6 6-3.

Soderling’s demise means Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is the only man who can deny Fernando Verdasco a place in London, with the Frenchman needing to retain his title.

Soderling frequently looked the better player against Djokovic but the third seed dug in and a decisive break in the eighth game of the decider put him on course for victory.

The Swede dominated the second set and created 14 break points on his opponent’s serve, but took only three of them.

Serb Djokovic admitted he was not at his best and was relieved to reach the semi-finals after a fifth successive victory against Soderling.

He told Sky Sports: “I’m very pleased to go through, it was a big struggle. Mostly I was fighting myself.

“In the second set I was not moving well and I was letting him control the match but in the end I managed to hold the nerves and focus.”

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