Soderling retains Rotterdam for 2nd 2011 success

Updated: 14 February 2011 11:35 IST

Swede Robin Soderling retained his title at the ATP Rotterdam Open Sunday with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 defeat of France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to join compatriot Stefan Edberg in lifting the indoor trophy twice.

Soderling retains Rotterdam for 2nd 2011 success

Rotterdam:

Swede Robin Soderling retained his title at the ATP Rotterdam Open Sunday with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 defeat of France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to join compatriot Stefan Edberg in lifting the indoor trophy twice.


Two-time Roland Garros finalist Soderling could barely contain his joy after making it two titles from three events so far in 2011, where he stands 13-1.

"I'm incredibly happy about my win," said the world number four, "It's obvious that I like Rotterdam a lot."

Soderling, the top seed who beat Mikhail Youzhny a year ago for the title when the Russian retired injured in the second set, now stands 4-0 over Tsonga after losing his first set in the series.

The Swede, retaining a title for the first time in his career, now owns eight trophys from 18 ATP finals. Soderling maintained his domination over Frenchmen as he won an eighth consecutive match against a player from France.

"I played well in the important moments," said the winner, who also claimed honours a month ago in Brisbane as he beat holder Andy Roddick in that final to move into the Australian Open on a high.

"It was a tough match with Jo, like always, but I was able to play my best tennis and keep up my momentum. It feels great."

Tsonga, seeded eighth, was denied his sixth career title after winning his last in October 2009 in Tokyo, the venue for his last final.

The defeat was only his second in a final after losing the 2008 Australian Open trophy match to Novak Djokovic.

But the Frenchman was content with his week and said he now feels that his tennis - stalled in 2010 with various injuries - has been re-born.

"I played a good match, in fact, it was my best of the week," he said. "I got better with each match this week, I'm pleased with the state of my game.

"I played well but Robin was too strong, especially at the end of the match. I'll take confidence form this match into Maresille next week and then hopefully into the Davis Cup (first round against Austria in Vienna)."

Soderling claimed victory in one hour 22 minutes, but was out-aced by Tsonga 20 to 12. The Swede claimed the opening set after losing an early break but getting it back in the eighth game.

Tsonga answered to level the match in the second set, carrying momentum from a 4-2 lead over Soderling.

The Scandinavian top seed re-asserted his big game in the third, moving into position with a break for 5-3 and serving out his 13th win of the year from 14 matches.

Soderling began the season by winning the Brisbane title and suffered his only loss in the Australian Open fourth round against Alexandr Dolgopolov.

With the loss, the 18th-ranked Tsonga now stands 15-21 over his career against Top ten players. Soderling becomes the fourth player to win two Rotterdam titles, following the example of not only Edberg but Arthur Ashe, and Frenchman Nicolas Escude.



Topics : Tennis US Open 2011
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