Soderling Whips Monfils to Win Paris Masters

by John on November 14, 2010

Robin Soderling dashed French hopes twice in two days at the Paris Masters. The fourth-seeded Swede defeated Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-1, 7-6 (1) in the Paris Masters final earlier today, capturing his first Masters Series shield and second title of the year. Soderling knocked out Monfils’ fellow countryman Michael Llodra in the semifinals on Saturday. When Soderling hit a forehand volley winner on match point, he fell to the court on his back to celebrate the most prestigious of his six career titles. “I always feel so good here in Paris,” the two-time French Open runner-up said. “I now have two favorite tournaments, it’s here and Roland Garros. I hope I can come back many times and play well.” Soderling became the first Swede to win a Masters Series tournament since Thomas Enqvist won at Cincinnati in 2000. With the 1000 ATP Ranking points he earned for the win, Soderling will supplant Andy Murray at No. 4 in the world in tomorrow’s new rankings. Soderling relied heavily on his powerful first serve, winning 88 percent of his first service points. He hit nine aces and never faced a break point. The 6-foot-4 Swede burst out of the blocks at the outset, putting Monfils under constant pressure. He won eight of 10 net points and hit 12 winners to just six for Monfils in the opening set. Soderling broke in the fourth game when Monfils sent a forehand volley wide and then hit a backhand cross-court winner two games later to break Monfils again. The Swede took the first set when Monfils’ backhand sailed long. “I was extremely nervous before this match,” Soderling said. “I didn’t sleep much at all (last) night. I really wanted to do well today and I’m happy with the way I started the match.” The twelfth-seeded Monfils, who upset Roger Federer in the semifinals on Saturday, raised his game in the second set and forced a tiebreaker. “Since the beginning of the tournament I’ve been really using up my reserves, physically and mentally,” said Monfils, who also beat Andy Murray and Fernando Verdasco in earlier rounds. “It’s the whole week that made me tired. Today I wasn’t able to find the extra stamina that I would have needed to be more competitive.” It was the first time Monfils has defeated three top-10 players in the same tournament.


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