Federer serves up win over Soderling
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:38
Federer fired down 23 aces as he battled past Sweden’s Robin Soderling in a repeat of the recent French Open final, the five-time Wimbledon champion winning 6-4 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/5).
In sweltering conditions at the All England Club, Federer made a slow start but finally stepped up a gear when required to break Soderling’s previously dominant serve in the ninth game, taking advantage of a double fault and forehand error for a 5-4 lead before serving out for the set.
Soderling started the second set as impressively as he had the first, not dropping a single point in his first three service games and then coming back from 0-30 down in the fourth. He was unable to exert any pressure on Federer’s serve however, and a tie-break was required to decide a set in which only three games went to 30.
The first seven points duly went with serve as Federer again demonstrated his superb defensive skills, and it was Soderling who was first to crack with a tame backhand drifting wide.
That gave Federer the mini-break and although Soderling got back on level terms at 5-5, Federer took the next two points and with it a two sets to love lead.
Soderling, who has lost all 10 of his previous matches against Federer, saved a break point in the second game of the third set before both players again dominated on serve.
Only one point was dropped between them in the next six games before Soderling surprisingly created two break points in the ninth game. However, the Swede’s attacking intentions let him down at the crucial time as he went for too much on his returns and failed to get a ball back in court as Federer held on.
Another tie-break was required and Soderling was on the verge of taking it when he led 5-4 with two serves to come, only for Federer to produce a brilliant forehand winner which had his opponent looking up at his coach in despair.
Soderling then served a double fault to gift Federer his first match point and he gratefully accepted to seal a hard-fought victory.