Soderling Too Strong For Tsonga, Reaches QFs
by ATP Staff | 15.10.2009
Ninth-seeded Swede Robin Soderling moved up to No. 8 in the 2009 year-to-date South African Airways ATP Rankings points standings on Thursday, after defeating fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-3, 6-3 for a place in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai ATP Masters 1000 Presented by Rolex.
Soderling added 90 points to his year-to-date points total (2810 points overall) to move ahead of Chilean Fernando Gonzalez (2780 points), who lost to Nikolay Davydenko, another player attempting to clinch a place at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November, in the third round.
"I try not to think about it [the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals] too much, because it only makes me nervous, so I try to focus on every match instead and hopefully do well in every match," confessed Soderling. "I know that if I play well, I have a chance, but this tournament won't decide who's going to play in London. There's still a lot of tennis to be played this year, and there's a couple of big tournaments coming up. So I have to keep on doing well the rest of the year."
The 25-year-old Soderling, who also beat Tsonga at Hamburg in May 2008, won 74 per cent of service points and hit eight aces for victory in 70 minutes. Tsonga, who last week captured his fifth ATP World Tour title and third trophy of the year at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo (d. Youzhny), had his serve broken four times as he won 54 per cent of service points.
"He was playing really good at the beginning," said Soderling. "I expected him to play well because he's a great player and he's in good form, coming in from Tokyo. His level dropped a little bit after I broke him the first time. But I think even though the score was 3 and 3, I think it was a pretty close match, and I'm very happy that I played well, because I really needed to play well today."
Soderling, who is coached by former ATP pro Magnus Norman, improved to a 42-17 season record highlighted by one ATP World Tour title at the Catella Swedish Open in Bastad (d. Monaco) and a runner-up finish at Roland Garros (l. to Federer). Tsonga, 24, failed to record his 50th match win of the year (49-17 match record).
Soderling goes onto meet an World No. 41 Feliciano Lopez of Spain, who reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in 12 months (2008-Madrid) with a 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-1 win over Austrian Jurgen Melzer in two hours and nine minutes. Lopez, who reached the Open 13 quarter-finals at Marseille (l. to Tsonga) in February, hit 15 aces to Melzer's 17 aces in the pair's fifth meeting (Melzer 3-2). The 28-year-old Lopez improved to 12-19 on the year.