Soderling, Berdych Clash in Bastad; Kleybanova Diagnosed with Cancer
In what has to be on the of the slowest sports weeks of the entire year – the ATP should hold a Masters tournament this week! – we at least get a decent Top 4-seeded semifinal lineup in Bastad tomorrow.
Home favorite Robin Soderling will clash with fellow big boy Tomas Berdych. And Nicolas Almagro meets his countryman and Davis Cup hero David Ferrer.
Soderling, who curiously skipped Sweden’s home Davis Cup loss to Serbia last weekend, ripped Potito Starache 6-3, 6-4 while Berdych eased past Blaz Kavcic 6-1, 6-4 in their respective quarterfinals.
After great 2010 Grand Slam campaigns (they played in the French SFs last year), both guys slipped a little this year at the French Open and Wimbledon. Soderling has won six of nine career meetings including four of the last five.
In the second semifinal, Ferrer has had his was with Almagro in their series leading 7-0. And quite impressive for Ferrer to go from the grass at Wimbledon to the quick hardcourts in Austin and now to the clay in Bastad all in four weeks or so. The guy is a warrior.
In contrast to Bastad, the seedless-semifinals are set in a depleted Stuttgart event with Del Bonis v. Ferrero and Andujar v. Kubot.
Top seeds Gael Monfils, Mikhail Youhzny, Jurgen Melzer, Gilles and Nikolay Davydenko all failed to reach the quarterfinals.
In some sad news, on the day of her 22nd birthday Alisa Kleybanova announced that she has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In a statement she released earlier today, she said, “It’s not an easy time for me right now. I have Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer. I’m having treatment in Italy and it’s going well, but it takes lots of patience and time, and I need to be really strong and positive to go through this. I still have a few more months of treatment to go. But the good news is, if I feel well after I’m done with everything, there’s a chance that I’ll be able to play tennis again. There is nothing for sure, but the chance is a big hope for me and it helps me to stay positive and focus on my healing every single day! I really miss playing – I miss seeing fans and friends around the world, I miss hitting the ball, I miss everything. Tennis has been my life for the last 15 years.”
You can read her full message here. Kleybanova, ranked No. 28, has been off the WTA circuit since Rome in May.
Keep Alisa in your prayers. We wish the best for her.
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