London:Robin Soderling advanced to the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals by beating Novak Djokovic 7-6 (5), 6-1 on Wednesday for his second straight win at the season-ending tournament.
The Swede outlasted Djokovic in a tense first set despite wasting three straight set points with the third-ranked Serb serving at 5-4. Djokovic then put up little resistance in the second and was broken three straight times, netting a forehand on Soderling's second match point.
Soderling entered the tournament as an alternate after Andy Roddick pulled out with an injury, but also won in straight sets against Rafael Nadal on Monday in a rematch of their French Open encounter. He is the first player to reach the semis.
The loss ends Djokovic's 11-match winning streak, and was his first defeat against Soderling in six encounters. Djokovic beat Davydenko in his first group match and can still advance to the semifinals.
Nadal took on Davydenko later on Wednesday.
Soderling started with an ace on the first point and let his strong serve carry him throughout the match. He was never broken and finished with 10 aces.
Djokovic had his only two break points when leading 15-40 at 1-1 in the first set, but Soderling bailed himself out with three straight service winners followed by an ace.
The Swede then led 0-40 at 5-4 but missed a number of shots to keep Djokovic in the set. In the tiebreaker, Soderling took a 6-4 lead with a forehand volley and then converted his fifth set point with a service winner.
He won the last six games of the second as Djokovic grew increasingly frustrated an error-prone. The Serb now likely needs a win against Nadal to reach the semifinals.