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TENNIS

Söderling reaches Aussie Open’s third round

Sweden's Robin Söderling marched into the third round at the Australian Open without dropping a set on Thursday, improving on his previous best performance at his weakest Grand Slam event.

Söderling reaches Aussie Open's third round

The in-form fourth seed advanced on the back of a 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), 6-1 win over Gilles Muller of Luxembourg and will now face Czech qualifier Jan Hernych in Saturday’s third round.

“It’s good that I didn’t spend five hours on the court. Instead, I’ve played two matches and both went to straight sets. I played very good, so I’m not feeling tired at all, which is very good now coming into the third round,” Söderling said.

Söderling reached the third round of the season-opening major for the first time after just two wins in his previous five visits to Melbourne.

“I feel like I’m playing really well and I have a lot of experience from doing well in other Grand Slams, so hopefully this year it will change,” he said.

Söderling has reached the quarter-finals or better at every Grand Slam event except the Australian Open. He finished as runner-up at Roland Garros in 2009 and last year lost to Rafael Nadal in the final.

The Swede also reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year, losing again to Nadal, and at the 2009 and 2010 US Open, losing to Federer both times.

Söderling is currently on a 7-0 winning streak this year after winning the Brisbane International, where he defeated Andy Roddick in the final and reclaimed the fourth-best ranking overall from the UK’s Andy Murray.

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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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