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Soderling fights off Ferrer for first win

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Originally published on: 24/11/10 10:13

Robin Soderling kept alive his hopes of a spot in the last four at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after seeing off David Ferrer 7-5 7-5 on Tuesday night.

The 26-year-old Swede was on the wrong end of a surprisingly one-sided battle with Andy Murray in his opening Group B encounter, but against Ferrer he found a win that puts him right back in the running to progress beyond the group stages – a feat he achieved on his debut at the inaugural event last year after wins over Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

“I served really well, especially in the first set,” said Soderling after sweeping past the Spaniard. “But it was tough. It was a close match – two really tough sets. I’m lucky that I won.”

Ferrer, who reached the final of the year-end tournament in Shanghai in 2007, looked to launch a late comeback when he broke Soderling as he served for the match at 5-3, but the world No.7 was unable to dent the Swede’s serve for a second time as the world No.4 regained control.

“I tried to do my best,” said Ferrer. “I fought to won the second set but Robin played better than me and he had more chances all the match.”

Unfazed by his two defeats, Ferrer now faces a must-win clash with Andy Murray on Thursday evening.

“I am with confidence. I finish the season top 10. I don’t have any problem physical, mentality. I know with Andy [Murray] will be a very difficult match. I [will] fight everything.”

As for Soderling, who was touted as one of the favourites for the title following his victory at the BNP Paribas Open in Paris-Bercy two weeks ago, the so-far undefeated Roger Federer – who he defeated in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros – will be his final Group B challenge on Thursday afternoon. 

“He’s a really tough player,” Soderling said of the Swiss. “He’s No.2 in the world. He’s playing really good right now. He played two unbelievable matches so far in this tournament. But like always against him I need to serve and return well and try to be aggressive. I have to try and not give him too much time.”

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