Tennis

Tennis

Soderling eases into Barcelona semis
Saturday 24, Apr 2010

Robin Soderling looked in good touch as he eased into the last four of the Barcelona Open with a routine straight-sets dismissal of Eduardo Schwank. Soderling, the de facto top seed at the clay-court event following the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal earlier this week, never looked in any danger against his unseeded Argentinian opponent as he posted a 6-2 6-3 win in just 68 minutes. The Swede sent down seven aces and converted three of four break-point chances to keep himself on track for what would be his sixth ATP title. "It would be a great feeling," Soderling said when asked what it would mean to win in Barcelona. "This is such a classic tournament with a lot of history. They've had some great champions in the past and it would mean a lot to win here." Next up for Soderling is a semi-final encounter with Thiemo de Bakker, who stunned third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in their quarter-final encounter. Dutchman De Bakker, a former junior world number one, prevailed in scrappy tussle with the Frenchman which lasted two hours and five minutes. De Bakker forced nine break-point chances against his more experienced opponent, converting four of those, as he battled to a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory. Tsonga paid the price for an error-strewn display which saw him win just 56% of points on his service and commit five double faults. The second semi-final will be an all-Spanish affair between Fernando Verdasco and David Ferrer. Eighth seed Ferrer fended off four break points on his way to a 6-4 6-0 win over 13th-seeded Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil. Fifth-seeded Verdasco, who finished as runner-up to Nadal in Monte Carlo last week, posted a 6-2 7-6 (7/4) win over Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. Verdasco enjoys a slender 5-3 advantage over Ferrer in career meetings heading into tomorrow's encounter.

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