Soderling dominates Davydenko to reach Rotterdam final
ROTTERDAM; Robin Soderling reached his second career final at the Rotterdam Open, dominating second seed Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 in Saturday's semi-final.
The Swede is aiming to go one better Sunday after losing the 2008 title match here to Michael Llodra.
The third seed will await an opponent from top seed Novak Djokovic and 2007 winner Mikhail Youzhny, with Soderling now a win away from becoming the first Swede since Anders Jarrdy in 1993 to lift the title at the Ahoy arena.
Soderling pounded over five aces, setting up his match point with his last one after one hour, 43 minutes.
The frustrated Davydenko was unable to stop the Swedish momentum as Soderling chipped a winning volley into the empty court to seal victory.
Davydenko, one of the form players of the past six months on the ATP, had complained all week about a court which he said was too fast for his game.
"The court is the court, it's what it is," said Soderling, the world number eight Roland Garros finalist from last year who now stands 7-4 over the Russian.
"I'm happy to have beaten one of the best players in the world," he said after victory over Davydenko, winner of the season-ending event last November in London and the Doha champion last month.
"It could have easily been the other way around. Our matches have always been very close, we seem to alternate with the wins.
"At Grand Slam they always go five sets."
The opening set tiebreaker was the fifth between the pair and resulted in the first victory in a decider for Soderling against Davydenko.
The Swede lost an early break in the first set, dropping serve while aiming for the opening set leading 5-3.
The set eventually went into the tiebereaker, where Soderling prevailed. The Swede sealed the second set as he took a 5-4 lead on a break a game before serving out victory.
Davydenko, who will take next week off to have treatment on his foot before travelling to Dubai, stood 31-6 since last year's US Open, earning a dozen of his victories in 2010.