Federer and Soderling to Face Off

US Open 2010
September 8th, 2010, by Hiland Doolittle
Federer and Soderling to Face Off

Federer and Soderling to Face Off

Roger Federer does what he always does. He reached his 26th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal round and now only trails Jimmy Connors in that accomplishment. On Sunday, the Swiss number two seed had some help.

Locked in a tight second set tiebreaker against Austrian star Jurgen Melzer, Federer benefited from two timely let cords to win the set and derail any Melzer momentum. Federer’s new, more aggressive all court game seemed to have the hot Melzer off balance in the first set and when he claimed the second set, he was on his way to his fourth consecutive straight sets win, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Federer will next play Sweden’s Robin Soderling who topped Spaniard Albert Montanes 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. Last year, Soderling lost to Federer in the quarters but was successful in the quarters at Roland Garros this summer, ending Federer’s record for consecutive semifinal appearances.

Soderling is a fairly predictable player. He features a big serve and perhaps the best forehand in the game. Despite these impressive strokes, players who can get the Swede moving and work on his backhand have had success against the fifth seed.

Robin Soderling

Robin Soderling

In the Toronto and Cincinnati tournaments, Soderling was unable to play past the second round. Even with his big shotmaking abilities, his foot speed on the hard court is regarded as a tough flaw to overcome.

Soderling started slowly against Montanes but once he got control of the second set, he moved swiftly to the finish line. The Swede will need all his weapons against the always improving Roger Federer.

In another fourth round match, 3rd seeded Novak Djokovic notched an impressive straight set win against American Mardy Fish, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. The repackaged Fish has been especially hot of late.

For the first time in his career, Djokovic has qualified for the quarterfinals in all four majors. To reach is sixth consecutive quarterfinal, Djokovic thoroughly outplayed the crowd favorite and, in fact, seemed to thrive on the environment. The key to Djokovic’s success was his ability to convert on six of 8 possible break points.

The Serb improved his record against Fish to 6-0. He will next play the talented Frenchman Gael Monfils who beat fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 7-5, 7-5. The athletic Monfils has done well to reach the quarters and he could use a signature win against the three seed.


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