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TENNIS

Söderling sets sights on Stockholm Open success

Swedish tennis star and French Open finalist Robin Söderling resumes his fight to earn one of the three remaining spots in the ATP World Tour Finals when he plays as top seed at his home Stockholm Open starting Monday.

The Swede currently occupies a provisional ninth in the race for the prestigious eight-man World Tour Finals in London from November 22nd.

Standing between him and a spot is Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. The difference is just 210 points – and a title at the Kungliga Tennishallen will help him close the gap.

“I try not to think about it too much, because it only makes me nervous,” said the 11th-ranked star, a Paris finalist five months ago against Roger Federer.

“I try to focus on every match instead and hopefully do well in every match.”

Söderling reached the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters, losing to Spain’s Feliciano Lopez after knocking out London rival Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The top seed opens with a qualifier in the first round.

German Tommy Haas will try and recover form after his shoulder-injury exit in China – a long trip to Asia for nothing – with a start against Frenchman Florent Serra.

Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero takes the third seeding, returning to he capital for the first time since losing in the first round nine years ago.

Germans take two more of the seedings behind Haas, with Andreas Beck on fifth and Benjamin Becker sixth.

The event will be missing defending champion David Nalbandian as the Argentine recovers from his spring hip surgery, with an exhibition return set at home in December.

Söderling will attempt to become the first Swedish champion in Stockholm since Thomas Johansson in 2004.

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SPORT

Björn Borg’s son Leo set to make his Wimbledon debut

Four decades after Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg won a fifth consecutive Wimbledon title, his 16-year-old son Leo Borg is reportedly set to make his debut at the tournament.

Björn Borg's son Leo set to make his Wimbledon debut
Leo Borg's Wimbledon debut is yet to be officially confirmed. Photo: Hanna Franzén/TT

According to reports in British tabloid The Sun and Swedish tabloid Expressen, Borg will be awarded a wildcard to play in the Wimbledon junior event.

“Leo is very grateful about getting a wildcard for the qualifiers to junior Wimbledon,” Björn Borg told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

“It will be an incredible experience and useful practice for the future,” he added.

A spokeswoman for the Wimbledon tournament did not want to confirm the decision, only saying that wildcard announcements and the main draw for the Juniors tournament would be made next week.

If confirmed, Leo Borg’s Wimbledon debut comes 39 years after Björn Borg defeated American rival John McEnroe, winning him his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title.

The iconic match has been called one of the greatest matches of all time and the story was adapted for the screen in the 2017 feature film Borg vs McEnroe, where Leo, bearing a striking resemblance to his fatther, played a younger version of Björn Borg.

During the 1970s and early 1980s Björn Borg won a total of 11 Grand Slam titles, five Wimbledons and six French Opens.


Björn Borg after winning his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title in 1980. Photo: Scanpix/TT

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