Soderling boosted by home success
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:41
And so far the lanky Swede is keeping his word after winning a particularly welcome first title of the season at the historic Catella Swedish Open in Bastad this week.
Soderling said: “I dreamed about it my whole life and I would not change it for anything. I dreamed of winning this tournament since I came to Bastad as a junior. Now my confidence is high for other tournaments.”
Soderling, coached by Magnus Norman, the last Swede to win the Bastad title in 2000, has long been marked out as a talent to watch but his career has been hampered by inconsistency.
In the immediate aftermath of his defeat to Roger Federer in France, he said he hoped his run to the final in Paris – which included his historic win over supposedly invincible reigning champion Rafael Nadal – would banish a few demons.
“I have always known that when I play my best tennis I can beat anybody,” said Soderling. “I showed that in Roland Garros that I can beat a lot of good players in a row. This is good for my confidence.”
At Wimbledon, Soderling again showed his improvement by reaching the fourth round, where once again he ran into Federer, who polished him off in straight sets, but only after two tight tie-breaks.
Now up to number 11 in the world after his triumph in Bastad, the highest of his career to date, Soderling’s recent success has firmly convinced him he has what it takes to pursue Grand Slam glory.
Soderling added: “I had a great tournament in Bastad. I had the best two weeks of my career so far. I’ve always believed in myself. But for sure, this will give me a lot more confidence.”