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TENNIS

Injury forces Söderling out of Stockholm Open

Robin Söderling was forced to pull out of his semi-final match on Saturday due to an elbow injury, ending hopes of a first tournament victory for the home favourite.

Injury forces Söderling out of Stockholm Open

The effects of a long season caught up with the Swedish world number 10, who is just a place away from a possible spot in next month’s eight-man ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Söderling still has a week to make a decision on his fitness, with his next event in Valencia starting on November 9 followed by the Paris Masters.

“Doctors tell me I can’t make it worse, so if it feels better in a week than maybe I can play Valencia,” said this year’s French Open finalist.

“I could tell in my quarter-final on Friday that it might be my last match here. I want to play as soon as possible but I’ll give the injury some time.

“It’s an elbow muscle that I’ve over-used. I’ll play again as soon as I can.”

Söderling stands provisionally ninth for a year-end spot behind Russian Nikolay Davydenko and Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.

Cyprus’ Marcos Baghdatis, the 2006 Australian Open runner-up who was due to face Söderling, said his place in the final was bittersweet.

“I’m sorry for Robin, it’s not easy to retire, especially when you’re playing at home,” he said of the two-time Stockholm finalist.

“I knew it would not have been an easy match for me today. He was the favourite, playing with the home support and indoors.”

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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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