Fernando Verdasco is playing in his second straight ATP clay final. Sunday, the fifth seed will try to break through for a win against Robin Soderling in the final of the Barcelona Open BancSabadell.
The second-seeded Soderling has not dropped a set en route to the final. And the Swede has won four of the previous five meetings, including twice on clay, against Verdasco.
Verdasco’s appearance int he final is the 14th straight year (since 1997) a Spaniard is in the Barcelona title match. In fact, a Spaniard has won the event the last seven years: Rafael Nadal won the title from 2005-09, Tommy Robredo in 2004 and Carlos Moya in 2003.
Soderling is the first Swede to reach the Barcelona final since Magnus Larsson in 1995 (l. to Muster). The last time a Swede won the title was Kent Carlsson in 1988 (d. Muster). This is the third all-Top 10 final on the ATP World Tour this season (Doha, Davydenko d. Nadal; Aust. Open, Federer d. Murray).
In the semifinals Verdasco fought back from a 2-4 second set hole to win 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-1 over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.
“This win is very important for me because it is the first time that I have played in two consecutive finals, and I would especially like to win here, so I will try to rest well and to be at my best tomorrow,” said Verdasco who was a finalist last week in Monte Carlo. “The fact that I have reached two clay court finals gives me a lot of confidence. I feel good and comfortable with my play. This year I have adapted to the surface better than ever; as I get more experienced it becomes easier.”
Said Soderling, a 6-1, 6-4 winner of Thiemo De Bakker, “So far it feels very good. My form is getting better with every match. I managed to get some easy points on serve and worked the points well with my forehand. I’m moving better and feel like I’m getting pretty close to where I played my best tennis on clay last year.”
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