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TENNIS

Söderling trumps Federer and takes on Nadal

Swedish tennis star Robin Söderling made the final at the Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi by beating world number one Roger Federer 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7/1), 6-2 in his semi-final on Friday.

Söderling trumps Federer and takes on Nadal

Söderling achieved his first career win over Swiss rival Federer, having lost all previous 12 times they had met, including in the 2009 Roland Garros final.

Federer said: “I’ve known Robin for a while and it was great to see his incredible run at the French Open. I think he’s really picked it up and it’s great to see. It was obviously hard starting the year against him in a rematch of Roland Garros. I had fun though.”

Spain’s Rafael Nadal will also get a chance to avenge the worst defeat of his career on Saturday when he tackles Söderling, the man who dumped him out of the French Open.

World number two Nadal was defeated for the first time at Roland Garros in 2009, where he was four-time champion, by the towering Swede, a setback which sent his season into a downward, injury-hit spiral.

Nadal, who also lost to Söderling at the ATP World Tour finals in London, will also get a chance for revenge when the two meet in the Capitala World final on Saturday.

“I’m very happy to be here in Abu Dhabi, it’s the perfect place to prepare for Doha and the Australian Open,” said Nadal who heads for the Qatar Open next week before defending his title in Melbourne,” Nadal said.

“I feel OK. I had the best five months of my career at the start of 2009 and after that I had a few problems. But anyway I didn’t have bad results – I lost in the semi-finals in all the tournaments and made one final. It’s impossible to be 100 per cent all the time.”

Nadal, who beat compatriot David Ferrer 7-6, 6-3 in an all-Spanish semi-final, is without an ATP final since May 2009 with his second half of the season badly-affected by knee tendinitis and a stomach strain.

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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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