Soderling, Berdych Clash in Bastad; Kleybanova Diagnosed with Cancer

by Sean Randall | July 15th, 2011, 5:39 pm

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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38 Comments for Soderling, Berdych Clash in Bastad; Kleybanova Diagnosed with Cancer

sar Says:

Oh poor Alisa, I wish her a speedy complete recovery.

jane Says:

Wishing Kleybanova only the best, & being fully well again.

Humble Rafa Says:

Hope you have a speedy recovery, Kleybanova. Keep fighting. You will win.

Kimmi Says:

ah, kleyby! was wondering where she is been. all the best and looking forward to see her play again.

Her game is big, I remember watching her last year in montreal..she had some great memorable matches.

Kimmi Says:

Yes sean. those will be great matches. Soda vs
t.berd and ferrer vs almagro.

ha-ha just checking the H2H. ferrer is 7-0 against almagro, no chance for almagro tomorrow, but who knows almagro could get inspiration from nole and beat his nemesis at last.

while soda vs berdy is much closer.. 6-3 in favor of soderling. I think soderling wins again.

joe Says:

after skipping davis cup against serbia and novek, soderling should look down and see if he had a dick

Kimmi Says:

soderling is 5-0 in the first set. berdych hoping to get at least a game…ah, did not expect that.

Kimmi Says:

finally berdych get a game!

Kimmi Says:

ah, it is a rout. 6-1 and double break in the second set. what is happening to berdych?

Kimmi Says:

silly me thinking this will be a good match. 6-1 6-0 score is as one sided as you can get. Berdych is not playing like a top 10 player at all. he is lacking confidence again, but no excuse to lose so badly today.

grendel Says:

Berdych seemed to have peeked when he got to Wimby final, and ever since he’s been kind of gently falling away. Wafting dreamily away to oblivion. Whilst the Sod is still ambitious. Still has the capacity to cause a major upset on occasion, I suspect.

Kimberly Says:

so much for that match

Kimberly Says:

and so much for the civil armada war

jane Says:

In recent matches between Soda and Ferrer, it has gone either way. Ferrer can trouble Soda, though at home I expect Soda to win. Should be a good final. Ferrer is having a very very good year!

Kimmi Says:

Great to see ferrero in the finals again, though i think he was helped by an easy draw. nevertheless, i hope he wins more big push ferrero.

Kimmi Says:

OK, the final in Stuttgart is set. ferrero vs andujar.

Go ferrero!!

Andres Says:

Very happy about Ferrero. He hinted that he could retire after his hometown tournement in Valencia. I hope that by winning some titles until then, he might change his mind. A class player with a lot of bad luck.

jane Says:

Good luck to JCF in the final: class player all the way, a lot of variety in his game.

Kimmi Says:

andres – is that what he said, that he would retire in valencia..i can see why he would want to call it quit, too many injuries at the moment. must be very tough for him.

This really makes federer so special. fererro and hewitt are struggling while federer still going strong challenging the young guys at their peak. amazing!!

Good luck to fererro tomorrow.

Super Says:

Alisa, we all wish you the best! You are a great tennis player, so your determination will help you overcome the cancer.

If you read this, I found some links that may be useful for you.

“Seaweed Extract May Hold Promise for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Treatment” (Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have similarities)

Get well, in whichever treatement you decide.

jane Says:

Soderling’s new charity: nice story about it at the ATP site (it is for children, non-violence)

Kimmi Says:

hmm, soda on fire

Kimmi Says:

code violation to ferrer. swearing in spanish!
things not going well for him at the moment. soda is just too good.

6-2 and a break for soda in the second. Maybe berdych result yesterday was not up to him..soda was just too good?

Kimmi Says:

second break..soda pop is poooooooooopping!

Kimmi Says:

ferrer making a come back?

he gets one break back!

Kimmi Says:

soda breaks right serving for the championship!

Kimmi Says:

another rout for soderling. what a way to win his home tournament.

6-2 6-2 against world no. 6
6-1 6-0 against world no. 8

whatever he is having, he should not stop!

Kimmi Says:

rain in Stuttgart. there might be no play today.

Kimmi Says:

ferrero and andujar on court. lets go ferrero.

dari Says:

Cheer for JCF!

jane Says:

Kudos to Soda: hmm, maybe he will be a threat again on the hardcourts. He is ambitious, as grendel said elsewhere. One to keep an eye on.

Go Juan Carlos!

Skeezerweezer Says:

Soda bringin the hammer!! Congrats…. :)

Kimmi Says:

forrero cruising..go go go

Kimmi Says:

ferrero a collector of cars and motorbikes the commentator says. what an hobby. expensive one indeed.

more motorbikes if he wins today?

Kimmi Says:


Kimmi Says:

happy for JCF. congratulations!

jane Says:

Good for JCF!! Now he can throw a big party at his restaurant. :)

andres Says:

Good win by Ferrero, he had an easy draw but a title is a title, especially after been away for so long, bad luck he wasn’t fit enough to play the clay court season this year, he could have make some good results.

Kimmi, i’m also impress by Federer ability to stay healthy and competitive when a lot of his contemporarys are struggling just to keep fit

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