Moya v. Soderling Today in Bastad

Posted on July 13, 2007

All four quarterfinal matches will take Centre Court at the Catella Swedish Open on Friday. Eight players eye the four semifinal berths at the €353,450 International Series event, held on the red clay courts of Bastad, Sweden.

First up will be the only quarterfinal match between unseeded players, as Luis Horna takes on Nicolas Almagro. It has been an impressive season thus far for Horna and Almagro, both capturing their second ATP singles trophies at International Series clay court events, the Peruvian at Vina del Mar in February and the Spaniard at Valencia in April. They both had to make it past seeded players to reach the round of eight, Horna beating No. 1 seed Tommy Robredo (his ninth Top 10 victory) in the first round and Almagro beating No. 8 seed Jonas Bjorkman in the second round.

No. 4 seed Carlos Moya beat Thomas Johansson in the second round to become the only former Grand Slam champ remaining at the Catella Swedish Open. He faces the only Swede still alive in the draw, No. 6 seed Robin Soderling, in the only quarterfinal match between seeded players. Neither player has won an ATP singles title so far this season but both have maintained high ATP Rankings, with Moya just this week rising to No. 20 (his first time in the Top 20 in over two years) and Soderling spending the entire year so far sitting between No. 23 and No. 30 (currently at No. 26).

The third match on Centre pits the highest seed remaining in the draw, No. 2 seed David Ferrer, against unseeded Gilles Simon. Two of Ferrer’s three prior ATP titles have come on clay courts, at 2002 Bucharest and 2006 Stuttgart (the third came on hardcourts at Auckland earlier this year). The No. 15-ranked Spaniard has a tough task in Simon, who has had three of his four career Top 20 wins this year, over Marcos Baghdatis at Marseille, Tommy Robredo at Indian Wells and Andy Murray at Rome. His first came over Gaston Gaudio at the ATP Masters Series in Hamburg. Simon has also had success against the favorites this week, beating No. 7 seed Juan Monaco in the second round.

No. 5 seed Filippo Volandri comes into his quarterfinal match against unseeded Olivier Rochus playing some of the best tennis of his career, his season so far highlighted by reaching the semifinals of the ATP Masters Series event in Rome, where he notched his first win over a World No. 1 against Roger Federer along the way. He is currently ranked a career-high No. 27 in the world. But he’ll have to watch out for Rochus, who came out of a five-match losing streak to reach the quarters at the Catella Swedish Open, including beating No. 3 seed Jarkko Nieminen in the first round.

Of all eight quarterfinalists, Ferrer has the best clay court win-loss percentage so far in 2007 with 72.2% (13-5 record). Not far behind in that statistic are Almagro (71.4% and 20-8), Horna (70.6% and 12-5) and Moya (68% and 17-8).

Not counting this week, Ferrer has reached the most quarterfinals so far this year with six (he is 2-4 in those). Not far behind with five each are Moya (4-1) and Almagro (2-3), followed by Soderling with four (3-1) and Horna’s three (2-1).

Moya is the only player remaining to have reached the Bastad final previously, winning the title in 2002. He was also a semifinalist in 2003. Soderling has one semifinal (2004) and one quarterfinal (2006) here. Volandri made the quarters as well once (2003). None of the five other quarterfinalists have ever been this far here previously. (ATP Digital Services)