2011 Open 13: Robin Soderling ousts defending champion Michael Llodra
World number four, Robin Soderling moved into the semi-final round at the 2011 Open 13 in Marseille on Friday after he ousted Michael Llodra in a rematch of their 2010 quarterfinal
Having lost to Llodra on this very stage last year, Soderling returned the favour as he move on ahead levelling the head to head score.
Top seed at the event, Soderling met eight seeded Llodra in a seeded battle. However, the sparks and thrill that is to be expected of such a match were absent. Without breaking
much sweat, Soderling was able to do away with the local in straight sets.
Dominating the court with seven aces and a 62% service winning percentage, Soderling quickly finished off with Llodra in the first set. Saving five of five break points,
Soderling was able to clinch a breadstick win for himself. The Swede now led the score 1-0.
Trying to save face in front of home crowd and also survive in his title defence, Llodra fought back in the second set. Going toe to toe with the Swede, Llodra managed to
keep the score tied for eight games. Successfully converting one of four break points, Soderling was able to clinch the ninth game before winning the tenth on his service and secure a 6-4 win in the second set.
Taking a little over an hour, Soderling struck a resounding total of 13 aces and lost only 19 of 63 points on service to ensure his survival in the event.
Commenting on his performance, Soderling said, “I returned really well, got the first break, and then broke him again. He got a little bit stressed because he serves well
and is very used to getting fast points on his serve. You have to stay focussed because you know anytime soon he could start to serve aces again.”
Playing Soderling in the semi-final will be the rising Russian, Dmitry Tursunov. A former top 20 player, Tursunov looks to make his way back after making it into his first
semi-final of the season.
Pitted against fifth seeded, Jurgen Melzer, Tursunov extended his lead to 3-1 in the career head to head as he survived a mid match lapse against the Austrian ace.
Although ranked out of the top 100, Tursunov sent Melzer running in the first set. Matching blow for blow, the Russian was able to save two of three break points to clinch
a 6-4 win for himself. Losing his footing in the second set, Tursunov was overpowered by the Austrian as he gave up an early lead and lost the set 2-6.
However, entering the decider the Russian was able to regroup and rush into the lead. Holding the Austrian to eleven points, Tursunov was able to secure a fry for himself.
Surviving Melzer’s onslaught of ten aces, Tursunov was able to hold his own and losing only 32 of 82 points on service was able to do away with the Austrian in almost two