Tennis

Soderling spoils Monfils party

2010-11-14 19:11
Robin Soderling (AP)

Paris - Robin Soderling signalled his intentions for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals when he claimed his maiden Masters title with a clinical 6-1 7-6 defeat of local favourite Gael Monfils at the Paris Masters on Sunday.

Fourth seed Soderling, twice a French Open runner-up, was simply too good for Monfils and wrapped up a straightforward victory by taking the second-set tiebreak 7-1.

His blend of raw power and pace proved too much to handle for the Frenchman, who was condemned to his second successive final defeat in Bercy.

Backed by a 14,500 capacity crowd, Monfils never discovered the touch that helped him to knock out 16-times grand slam champion Roger Federer on Saturday.

Soderling showed no weaknesses throughout the 77-minute encounter on the fast indoor court as he picked up his sixth ATP title.

Monfils handed Soderling a break in the fourth game when he fluffed a routine volley and the Swede followed up on serve to open a 4-1 lead.

He kept the pressure on Monfils and snatched the Frenchman's serve again with a superb crosscourt passing shot before bagging the opening set with a forehand winner after 26 minutes.

Soderling, whose career took a huge leap forward after he reached the French Open final last year, did not face a single break point in the one-sided contest.

Monfils, however, resisted well in the second set as Soderling's first serve percentage dropped, but the Swede timely got his act together in the tiebreak to finish it off at the net, falling on his back in celebration.

He now heads to London, where the ATP Finals will be played from November 21 at the O2 Arena.

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