Robin Soderling is back and 2007 Champion Mikkhail Youhzny hopes to repeat in Rotterdam. Both players pulled off stunning upsets as the Russian knocked off top seed and world number two Novak Djokovic in straight sets while Soderling topped Nikolay Davydenko. The three and six seeds will meet for the crown on Sunday.
Youzhny’s upset was particularly surprising as Djokovic was well rested after a bye to the semis and two other matches where players retired before completion. Youzhny had a difficult three set, come-from-behind win over Gael Monfils in the quarters.
This will be Youzhny’s 13th title match and would be his 6th tour title. The 20th ranked tour player had also defeated Djokovic in the 2007 tournament. After winning the first set 7-6 (5), the Russian had two match points at 5-3 in the second before Djokovic managed a key break. In the tiebreaker, the top seed jumped ahead 5-2, but could not close out the match, losing 7-6 (6).
Soderling played better as the tournament went on. The tour’s 8th ranked player has started the year slowly with first round losses in the Aircel Chennai Open and at Melbourne. The Swiss star answered his critics with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 triumph over the tour’s hottest player, who has 20 tour championships. This is Soderling’s 12th finals.
Soderling never lost service and now posses at 7-4 lifetime record against Davydenko, the second seed. Soderling won 87% of his first serve points. This is Soderling’s second finals in Rotterdam.
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