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Soderling targets French success

Posted 04-27-2011 at 08:21 AM by Philip Oliver
Two-time beaten finalist Robin Soderling will once again be looking to earn his first Grand Slam victory on what is his favourite surface at Roland Garros. The Swede has suffered back-to-back falls at the final hurdle, first in 2009 by Roger Federer and last year by a near impeccable Rafael Nadal. The Spanish number-one will once again be the stand-out favourite when the French Open starts at the end of next month, but Soderling will have every right to feel confident when his campaign starts.

The Swede has shown that he is as good as any on clay - with possibly the exception of Nadal – and the 26-year old will be heavily backed to at least once again reach the latter stages of the tournament. Soderling has finally gotten his clay-court season under way after Achilles tendon and knee injuries, returning to action at last week's Barcelona Open, which Nadal once again defended his title without too many problems. Those looking at the French Open 2011 tennis betting will be expecting him to do the business in Paris again.

The Swede has admitted defending French Open champion Nadal is still the man to beat on clay, but made it clear he is confident whenever he faces the Spaniard.

He said: "He's a great player, especially on clay. But you have to go to the court thinking that you have a chance. Otherwise, what's the point? Nadal is the best on clay ever but he can be beaten. You just have to play your best tennis and have some luck."

If Soderling ever needs a confidence boost when playing Nadal on clay, then he only need look back to the 2009 French Open where he put the previously dominant Spaniard out of his favourite tournament in the fourth round, although the Men's French Open betting indicates it will be a big ask to do this again. This week Soderling will continue his preparations for the second Grand Slam of the year, by participating in Portugal this week. Getting back into winning ways will be the aim of the week for the 26-year-old, who will be keen to add to his impressive three titles from the year so far.

Soderling won't be the only threat to Nadal this May at Roland Garros. Joining the Swede in mounting a charge of the champion will be Novak Djokovic, the Serbian star has had an unbeaten start to the season and looks to be in ideal condition to finally end Nadal's recent dominance in Paris.
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