SHARE
COPY LINK

TENNIS

Robin Söderling triumphs in Marseille

Sweden's top tennis star Robin Söderling overcame unseeded Croat Marin Cilic 6-7 (10/8), 6-3, 6-3 in the final of the Marseille Open on Sunday to claim his third tournament of the year.

Robin Söderling triumphs in Marseille

“I’m very proud to have started to play better in the second set instead of starting to play worse after losing the tie-break.”

He added: “Winning three tournaments in less than two months is a very nice

feeling, it’s the best start to a season possible,” he said.

The Swede, who adds the title to previous wins in Brisbane and Rotterdam on the ATP circuit so far this year, paid tribute to his opponent.

“He played very well and he was really impressive in the first set. He was very aggressive and played really quickly.

Cilic said he would try to take the positives from his run to the final.

“I had a great week. It’s a big relief for me to have got to the final and to have played good tennis,” said Cilic, the world number 28.

“I hadn’t had this opportunity for nearly a year. I’d played well but it’s one thing to play well for one set against a top-10 player — you have to keep concentrated throughout.”

As in the semi-finals, 22-year-old Cilic made a storming start and broke his opponent’s serve in the opening game.

On the other side of the net, Söderling was struggling to find the right length with his groundstrokes and committing more unforced errors than usual.

The Swede nonetheless managed to break back, but he was undone in an extremely tense first set tie-break, which Cilic edged 10/8.

In the second set it was Soderling who began more aggressively, breaking Cilic at 1-1 and then producing a love service game to go 3-1 up.

Cilic battled back, levelling the set at 3-3, before Soderling raised his game again, notably producing some devastating passing shots as he took the set to square the match.

The deciding set was a game of nerves, with the players inseparable until Cilic conceded his serve and Soderling seized the opportunity to establish a 5-2 lead before closing out victory.

Söderling, who has now won nine career titles, has won more matches this year than anyone else on the men’s tour — 17 — and has been beaten just once.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

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

SHOW COMMENTS