Soderling Repeats in Rotterdam; Verdasco Bids to do Same in San Jose
by Sean Randall | February 13th, 2011, 12:32 pm
  • 65 Comments

Europeans Robin Soderling and Fernando Verdasco entered Sunday with a shot at successful title defenses at their respective events this week. Soderling has already taken care of his end defeating JW Tsonga 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to win a second straight title at Rotterdam, his eighth overall.

Later today Verdasco gets his chance against Canadian phenom Milos Raonic in the San Jose title match.

The win for Soderling is already his second on the season after his Brisbane ivictory over Andy Roddick. It’s early, but it looks like Robin’s going to have another big year, much bigger than I had thought.

“I’ve had two wins and one final, it’s very good, I like it here a lot,” said Soderling. “It suits my game and when you come to a place where you’ve played well before it brings out good feelings. Of course it’s tough trying to defend the title, it adds some extra pressure, but I felt good and had only positive feelings. I’ve had a very good start to this season. I’ve already won two titles and only lost one match in three tournaments.”

For Tsonga, who has not won a title now in 15 months, it was a good week with a lot to build on.

Shifting to San Jose, Verdasco has been playing ruthless tennis. I caught some of his match last night in a 6-4, 6-4 win over Juan Martin Del Potro. If Verdasco plays up to that level he’ll get through the Canadian. To me, Verdasco’s biggest problems is his nerves and with Raonic blasting serves we should see some tight sets and ample opportunity for both guys to seize up.

“I’m playing great,” Verdasco said. “I haven’t lost here in nine matches, so I must be unbelievably happy. After the Australian Open I had two weeks on my couch in Madrid, and last year I had a 10-day holiday before coming here. I think I will do this before the Grand Slams.”

Courtesy of a Gael Monfils semifinal walkover, Raonic is also in his first career ATP final. So it will be interesting to see how the 20-year-old handles the occasion. I talked of Verdasco’s nerves but maybe it’s Raonic who will feel it the most, especially with having the extra day to think about it.

“I was practicing with Milos before the Australian Open and I knew he’d do really well,” Verdasco said of his opponent in the final. “I didn’t think fourth round, but I knew he’d do well. He has one of the best serves in the game right now, but he’s also aggressive off the return. I just have to try to get the returns in and then play deep, move him. If he comes into the court, he’s dangerous.”

By the way, it’s interesting to note that Verdasco and Raonic will play again in the first round Wednesday night in Memphis! How strange! Raonic will move into the Top 70 for his effort of the week, and even higher should he win the title. But I do think Verdasco will repeat today.

As for Del Potro, despite the loss (Delpo was up a break in the second) it was a very encouraging week.

“Fernando played better,” Del Potro said. “He served well and took his opportunities. It’s difficult to come back against someone when they’re playing that well. But I had a good week. I hope I have a similar week in Memphis. I’m playing better every day.”

If the Argy can just stay healthy, get fitter and improve his footwork (which will all come in time) there’s no reason that he won’t be a factor at the Slams.

Del Potro now moves on to Memphis where Wednesday night he’ll be in for quite the battle against John Isner in the first round. His ranking of No. 484 should jump back into the Top 300.

Down in South America, congratulations to Nicolas Almagro who’s quietly playing some great tennis. Yesterday, the Spaniard beat Alexander Dolgopolov 6-4, 7-6 to win the Costa do Sauipe title. It wasn’t a repeat job like Soderling or what Verdasco’s trying to do, but it was Almagro’s second victory (2008) at the event and his eighth overall, all on clay.

“The truth is that it was a beautiful final, a final that I was very happy to be part of,” Almagro said. “It’s clear that the tournament is a very important one not only for me but here in all of Brasil and I’ve been lucky enough to win it twice and I will continue to try my best in the future here.”

The San Jose final will be televised live on Tennis Channel starting at 8pm ET and streamed online via their website.


Also Check Out:
Federer Tries To Join Del Potro, Berdych In Rotterdam SFs; Roddick Tests Ankle In San Jose
Murray’s Misery Mounts; Raonic Blasts Blake, Berankis Next at San Jose
Querrey Losing Streak Hits Six in San Jose, Del Potro Wins; Murray Returns in Rotterdam
Roddick Leads San Jose, Djokovic in Rotterdam; ATP Previews
Roddick Upset; Scary Del Potro Blasts Berdych in Rotterdam, Awaits Federer?

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

65 Comments for Soderling Repeats in Rotterdam; Verdasco Bids to do Same in San Jose

Dan Martin Says:

How did JMDP look? No shame in losing to hot sauce/salsa caliente, but I wonder if he looked completely over matched or not.


dari Says:

Way to go, Soda! the kid loves rotterdam!

Dan- he did look over matched on nando’s service games. He was not making adjustments to return either hard enough or to the right spot to keep fernando from controlling the point. from there, nando could set up his fh and there was not a lot delpo could do against it.
It was usually just one poor game on serve for delpo each set, and not getting a lot of chances to break. in all honestly, verdasco played really well, it would have been a miracle for someone out of competition so long to beat him that day.
overall, maybe delpo was a little slow/tired, hadn’t played that many matches in a row for a while, but nothing to be discouraged about, getting to the semi was great and he improved a lot this tourney!


nitro Says:

I can´t wait for Del Potro to be back in the absolute top again. Does anyone know if he hits harder than Soderling?


jane Says:

Dan, I would say JMDP was patchy – at times I saw champion form esp. w.r.t. his serves and forehand, but occasionally, he looked slow and tactically a bit repetitive. His defensive skills could be stronger. I agree with dari too – no real answer for Nando’s serve, so when he had a bit of a bad service game, Nando was able to take advantage.

But, all that said, I think he’s coming around! Semis is pretty good after all.

Anyone know what time Raonic takes his ray-gun blasts onto the court versus Hotsauce? I give Hotsauce the decided advantage here, but I hope Milos makes a match of it!


dari Says:

raonic v nando is 5 pst, jane.
i cant believe im saying this but i think im cheering for nando!
won’t really be watching because grammy’s are on, though.


jane Says:

Thanks dari!!

Just read at the ATP site that Roland Garros will keep the French Open.


jane Says:

No one watching Nando and Milos?? So far so good. 4 all set one, on serve.


Gregoire Gentil Says:

Super scary draw for Wozniacki at Dubai next week :-( Hantuchova, who won last week, then Kvitova, who won last week, then Li!


jane Says:

What may make the difference, judging by what I have seen so far, is Nando’s ability to take advantage whenever he gets a look at a second serve.


dAri Says:

I’ve only been checking in on tc randomly when Grammy is not on. Milos was looking good in serve…


thark Says:

meeeeelos!

wow.


Kimmi Says:

how did that happen..it was 5-2 verdasco when i last watch..go milos


steve-o Says:

Raonic captures the first set tiebreak after fighting off four set points.


jane Says:

6-2 Nando had in that tiebreak, and a combo of him choking and Milos going for it/ hanging in leads to Milos taking set one. If it weren’t Milos playing, I would feel very sad for Nando’s choke, but since it is our Canadian boy trying for his first ever ATP title ….

Go Milos! Go!


Kimmi Says:

this guy serve is ridiclous G-O-O-D. another guy players will not be happy to see on their draw.

Duece..hits 2 big serve it all done.

Go milos


Kimmi Says:

haha nando you snooze you lose..go milos!

choking is for inexperience players..verdasco should know better.

Goo Milos


Kimberly Says:

Raonics serve is sick. No other words. I wouldn’t want to play him if I were any player, I don’t care who.


steve-o Says:

These guys could go all night without a break of serve.


dAri Says:

How is milos serve have it all? Power placement consistency, and some gd beauty.
I know nando let go in that tb, but milos was super tuff and held in!


Kimmi Says:

i hope milos does not choke when it gets to tie breaker….he will probably be shaking.


Kimmi Says:

milos has the serve, what he needs to learn as he gains more experience is his baseline game..take his chnaces during the rallies etc.


jane Says:

Milos could, possibly, win this! I really thought it would be Nando, but Milos is keeping his cool. What do others think?


Kimmi Says:

phew, close game! go milos


steve-o Says:

Don’t know. Neither man has a clear advantage over the other. It has been very close so far.

I see Raonic has saved a break point to get to 5-4. This could be his moment to make his final push.


Kimmi Says:

i think we just have to wait and see jane..milos could win or lose. it is big match for him. i hope he does not choke in the final stages.


jane Says:

Well, win or lose, I am impressed with his demeanor thus far. Very few nerves. He has not been able to do much in the return games though.


Kimmi Says:

milos not a good returner. nando serving good but he is winning too much of his second serves.

c’mon milos


Kimmi Says:

hold milos


Kimmi Says:

anothet tie break coming?? tense moment!


Kimmi Says:

too many errors on that BH


dAri Says:

Milos stands up too fast on the backhand
I kinda wish for a third set, the Grammy are on the tv and tennis on the computer, and i wouldn’t mind getting a better look on the tv at the tennis!


jane Says:

Tense…


dAri Says:

Haha, didn’t stand up too fast on that one, that was like mega torque on that bh from milos!


Kimmi Says:

OMG OMG!!


steve-o Says:

Wow–after being bullied on the backhand, Raonic comes up with an amazing backhand winner!

He’s also adjusting by neutralizing Verdasco’s first serve with the slice return.


Kimmi Says:

definetly BH milos weakest shot


Kimmi Says:

3 match points…jane! i am dying!


Kimberly Says:

Well so much for 3 for 3


Kimmi Says:

WOOOOOT milos. what was verdasco complaing!

Congrats milos, really did not expect this soon.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

A NORTH STAR IS BORN!

Quick Tennis-X Game: Where will Raonic be ranked for Roland Garros? Wimbledon? US?

I think 30′s-40′s for RG, I have a feeling he won’t move up much in clay, so about the same for Wimbledon.

I think top 16 by US Open, maybe top 10.

Second question: When does he leapfrog The Dog?


Kimberly Says:

Roland garros 37
Wimbledon 35
us open 16


jane Says:

A star is born :) Woot Roanic!

Better luck next time, er, next week in fact, Nando.


steve-o Says:

Congrats to Raonic! No nerves in closing it, either.

Verdasco played very well, but Raonic was just better and more aggressive in the tiebreakers.

A really mature performance. Give him a year and he’ll be in the top twenty, I’m sure.


jane Says:

Looking forward to his speech!


Kimmi Says:

first ATP final..first title. beats top 10 player on the way.

beginning of the year he was ranked 150s, after AO he was ranked 94 i think.

first tournament after AO, he gets a WC and win it.

what a story! like cinderella story. congrats milos.


jane Says:

“The serve” indeed Fernando!


Kimmi Says:

my tennistv stream is gone…got to search for another stream for speech


Tennis Vagabond Says:

If he beats Verdasco Wednesday we can call him a legit top-tenner right now.


jane Says:

Haha funny comment about Bell giving him the wild card. All the way up to number #59 Yahoo. And two hockey references in his speech; he is definitely Canadian, lol!


jane Says:

Kimmi, you should be watching veetle – whole ceremony. Raonic got a Sharks hockey jersey and a bottle of maple syrup for his pancakes. :)


dAri Says:

Congrats to milos! What an astronomical rise in a month!


Kimmi Says:

jane -didnt see the speech.. bell giving him a WC where? in montreal? probably he wont need it.


Kimmi Says:

aah veetle. thats where it was. i guess i missed it now.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

When is the last time a player burst on the scene like this? Nadal rose like a rocket, but has anyone since come out like this?


Kimmi Says:

so his name is pronounced “meelosh”. good to know. i was saying it wrong. now i know!


jane Says:

No, Kimmi, Milos made a joke that Bell look good now for giving him the wild card into this tourney, which he won! :)


dAri Says:

Kimmi, how did you miss my “meeeelosh” comments?!
Milos and the announcers really had fun with that ceremony!


El Flaco Says:

Yes Kimmi. MEEEELOSHE!!!! you know see Seinfeld? MEELOSH think he pro tennis but reality berry no gude. However this Meelosh is real thing


jane Says:

I don’t know T.V. – there were certainly signs of his quality at last year’s Canadian Masters, and then when he played Rafa in Tokyo, but his rise has been so quick since the beginning of this year!


contador Says:

yay milos!!! he was so great in that last tie break.

had to feel a little sorry for nando. nothing he could do….

will milos get a wc into IW? surely he will. USA wants him…lol..

how’s his clay game? seems like he’s have a game for grass.

ah that was great!


Kimmi Says:

i saw one of your meelosh posts but i was thinking it was probably one of the nicknames i hear on tennis-x dari.

haha now i know..milos does not really sound meelosh..i’m gonna have to write it “meelosh” now. thank El Flaco too.


contador Says:

wonder how verdasco feels knowing he has to play him again in a few days. :O


dAri Says:

Yes, el Flaco! The fabulous worlds of tennis and seinfeld combined for one memorable moment! Hahahaha
Out if curiosity, kimmi, how were you pronouncing it in your head?


Swiss Maestro Says:

Raonic’s serve is too good. This shows how much opportunity delpotro and cilic have wasted. two players who are taller than him and have serves worse than federer’s. you could say even murray at 6 4 should be serving so much better. roddick and federer are the only guys who lived up to the serving potential in the last 10years (ofcourse karlovic and isner too).

you could say safin did a good job with his serve too, but his mind screwed its effectiveness like all his other shots.

Top story: Federer, Wawrinka Put Switzerland Ahead 2-1 In Davis Cup, Will Roger Close It Out?
Most Recent story: Fedal Wars: In The GOAT Debate, Are Nadal Fans Rooting Against Federer To Win His First Davis Cup?
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Nov 17 WTA - Nov 17
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori5 Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
10 David Ferrer10 Dominika Cibulkova
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Shop | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2014 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.