Söderling delights crowds with Swedish Open win
AFP · 20 Jul 2009, 08:40
Published: 20 Jul 2009 08:40 GMT+02:00
The 24-year-old Roland Garros finalist achieved his first clay court title and the fourth of his career.
Söderling has been on top form for several months. His spirited performance at Wimbledon, where he reached the fourth round only to be narrowly beaten by Roger Federer, brought the crowds to Båstad in record numbers. Organizers said they had sold 55,000 tickets - an increase of 10 percent on last year's sales.
"I wouldn't swap this victory for a Grand Slam win," said the number two seed. "It's been my dream to play well at Båstad and it's fantastic as the support of the crowd has been," added Söderling, who becomes the first Swede to win the title since his coach Magnus Norman in 2000.
"I had to play my best tennis because Monaco wasn't easy. It started well but it became really difficult, in the second set he played better than me."
Soderling added that before Roland Garros he had worked hard on how to deal with the psychological pressure in matches which had been his weak point.