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TENNIS

Söderling down and out Down Under

Sweden’s Robin Söderling crashed out of the Australian Open in the first round on Tuesday, becoming the highest ranked man to fall.

Söderling down and out Down Under

He lost his opening round match to Spain’s Marcel Granollers in five sets, 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

After a hard.fought win in the first set, Söderling then breezed through the second set 6-2, setting up what looked to be an easy victory against the 113th ranked Spaniard.

But Granollers then rallied, taking the next two sets to force a fifth and decisive set.

After falling behind 0-2 in the final set, Söderling took back a game.

But after taking an extended break before the players switched sides to start game four, Granollers took an extended break to put ice on an aggravated thigh muscle.

The previously unheralded Spaniard returned to the court with a renewed spark, successfully breaking Söderling’s serve twice, leaving the Swede struggling to get back in the match.

Söderling made 67 unforced errors and was scathing in his assessment of his performance.

“No, I started terrible and finished terrible,” he said bluntly when it was suggested things were going well early in the match.

“I played a horrible match today and I am terribly disappointed.

“I didn’t feel good at all and I didn’t play well.”

Although the fragile Swede, who has won four ATP titles, pulled out of the AAMI Classic last week because of elbow tendonitis, he said he was 100 percent fit and that the loss had nothing to do with any injury.

Söderling said his frustration had nothing to do with his good form in 2009.

“I would have been annoyed even if I didn’t play well last year,” he said.

It was the third Grand Slam in a row where Söderling had faced Granollers, who is something of a doubles specialist, but the Spaniard’s first ever win over the Swede.

Söderling played the 23-year-old three times last year, including the US Open and Wimbledon, winning all three matches convincingly and dropping just one set to Granollers in those matches.

Tuesday’s loss continues a tough start to the year for last year’s French Open finalist, having lost in the first round in Chennai and now here.

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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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