Robin Soderling lifted his second ATP trophy from his first three events of 2011, with Sweden's HEAD racquet rebel winning the Rotterdam title for the second straight year. Soderling, playing his power game flawlessly with his YouTek Prestige MP, beat Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
The success gives the World No. 4 two trophies already this season after winning Brisbane to start the new season. "I'm incredibly happy about my win," said the Swede, who joined compatriot Stefan Edberg as a two-time champion in the Dutch port city. "It was a tough match with Jo but I was able to play my best tennis and keep up my momentum."
Soderling went up in the opening set as he broke Tsonga's first service game before losing the advantage but fighting through with a second break as he took the opener. Tsonga answered in the second to level at a set each but the HEAD player roared back in the third. Soderling moved into winning position with a third break of the Frenchman and served out the win a game later on his first match point.
"When you come to a place where you've played well, it brings up good feelings," said Soderling. "It's tough to defend the title, it adds some extra pressure, but I had only positive feelings this week. I had many tough matches and I even saved a match point in the second round, but I had the margins on my side. I've had a great start to the season." The Swede now stands 13-1 this season, with his only loss coming in the Australian Open fourth round against Alexandr Dolgopolov. Soderling improved to 4-0 over Tsonga.
Soderling won his eighth ATP title from 18 finals. He has also claimed eight consecutive wins over French players. Tsonga earned the final by beating HEAD player Ivan Ljubicic (YouTek IG Extreme Pro) 6-4, 7-6 in the semi-final.