Soderling and Monaco win Swedish Open semifinals in straight sets

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Soderling, Monaco reach Swedish Open final

BASTAD, Sweden — Second-seeded Robin Soderling beat fellow Swede Andreas Vinciguerra 6-1, 7-6 (6) Saturday to set up a meeting with Juan Monaco in the Swedish Open final.

Monaco, an unseeded Argentine, routed two-time defending champion Tommy Robredo 6-0, 6-2 in the other semifinal on the slow clay.

Soderling, this year’s surprise French Open finalist, saved a set point in the second-set tiebreaker when trailing 6-5. He won it when Vinciguerra netted a forehand return.

Vinciguerra, a wild-card entry ranked No. 460, broke Soderling’s serve only once to level at 3-3 in the second set.

The 12th-ranked Soderling reached his first final at Bastad.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “This is a tournament in which I really want to do well. I played well in the opening set. When I broke him early in the second I relaxed too much on the court and he came back.”

Vinciguerra said he would support Soderling in Sunday’s final.

“Robin played incredible, I hope he wins the final,” Vinciguerra said.

Soderling will try to become the first Swedish winner of the tournament since 2000, when his coach, Magnus Norman, won the title.

Monaco broke the third-seeded Robredo three times in the opening set and raced to a quick 5-1 lead in the second after securing two more breaks of the Spaniard’s serve.

“I think it was my best match of the year,” Monaco said. “I played the important points very well and I didn’t give him a chance to get into a rhythm.”

Monaco is the first Argentine to reach the Swedish Open final since Mariano Zabaleta, who won back-to back titles in 2003-04.

Robredo is 23-7 in Bastad after playing the tournament for nine straight years.

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