HEAD racket rebel Robin Soderling stands one victory away from the French Open title after reaching the Paris final for the second year in succession. The Swede who a year ago faced Roger Federer in the Roland Garros title match got a second chance at Grand Slam trophy glory as he outlasted tough Czech Tomas Berdych 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in their marathon semi-final.
Soderling, playing with his red YouTek Radical MP, needed three and a half hours, breaking Berdych in the final game to insure victory. He is bidding to become the first Swedish champion at Roland Garros since Mats Wilander in 1988.
The big-hitting Soderling leads the French Open table on aces, adding 18 to his total in a match almost perfectly balanced between 62 winners and 63 unforced errors.
"This match was more than tough," said Soderling. “It was tough for me to play my game. He hit so hard, all of his returns were landing just centimetres from the baseline.”
"He gave me no time to react. I had to work really hard today," added the winner. "Tomas played well when it really mattered and I had a tough time with his serve.”