Sweden in control
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:29
Soderling crushed his opponent 6-0 6-0 to put Sweden 1-0 ahead in the tie ahead of Friday’s deciding rubbers. The Swede totally outclassed the German, dropping just 16 points on his way to victory.
“I tried everything,” said Schuettler. “I tried to play slice, I tried to play high balls in order not to give him any speed, but he played a winner.”
He added: “I sometimes served and the ball came back even faster. I kick-served and a great return came back. So, I tried everything. He just played on a better level.”
The winner of the tie will progress to Saturday’s final against the winner of the Blue Group, which remains delicately balanced heading into the final day of round-robin action.
Italy kept their hopes alive as they took a 1-0 lead against Serbia in their Blue Group clash thanks to Andreas Seppi’s 6-1 6-4 win over Viktor Troicki.
The Italians need to post a 3-0 win to have any chance of reaching the final, and even then they will still require Argentina to lose against Russia in the other tie.
The hopes of the Italians suffered a setback, however, as world number five Juan Martin del Potro put the Argentinians into a 1-0 lead as he posted 6-3 7-6 (7/3) win over Igor Andreev.
Serbia remain in the box seat to win the group, and if they turn around their tie against Italy on Friday they will progress to the final regardless of the result in the other match.
Back in the Red Group, the United States beat France 2-1 in their final round-robin tie, which had nothing other than pride at stake with both teams already eliminated.