Chennai Open: Top seed Soderling crashes out

January 5th, 2010 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Roger Federer By Anand Philar
Chennai, Jan 5 (IANS) Robby Ginepri of the United States looked like anything but a player ranked 100 as he eliminated top seed and World No.8 Robin Soderling of Sweden 6-4, 7-5, in a first round match of the $400,000 ATP Aircel Chennai Open tennis tournament, here Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Soderling, who came here with a win against Roger Federer last week at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, was a bundle of errors and in sharp contrast to Ginepri, who brought back memories of 2005 season when he reached the semi-finals of the US Open and achieved a career-high ranking of 15.

After racing away with the first set with a break of serve in the seventh game, Ginepri looked to be in trouble when he dropped serve to fall 0-3 behind in the second.

However, Soderling, who served nine aces but also committed five double-faults, was unable to capitalise on this start as he dropped serve in the seventh game after hitting out three overheads and that turned tide in Ginepri’s favour.

In the eighth game, Soderling wasted three break points as Ginepri held serve for 4-4. He then broke Soldering in the 11th for a 6-5 advantage before wrapping up on his second match point.

“Nothing went right for me today. I was fighting for every point from the start. I guess, the break points that I missed and also the overheads in the second set cost me the match. I had problems with the overheads. But overall, I didn’t play well,” said Soderling.

“I was ok with the conditions, but the playing surface here is different from the one in Abu Dhabi, and playing the first match of the year is always difficult,” said Soderling who thus became the third top seed to go out in the first round of this tournament.

Ginepri was gracious in victory. “Robin came here with his confidence high after his performance in Abu Dhabi. But he came here just two days before while I have been here since Thursday. So, I guess, I was better prepared. He is a big-hitter and so I tried to move him around,” Ginepri said.

On the outside court, Prakash Amritraj proved unequal to the task and went down rather tamely to 31-year old Michael Russell of the United States 3-6, 1-6, in just over an hour.

Only in patches did the 26-year old 212nd ranked Amritraj played well enough to stretch his opponent. But overall, Russell lived up to his superior ranking of 83 with a series of blistering returns and solid ground strokes.

Late last night, Thiemo de Bakker (The Netherlands) dumped eighth seed Rajeev Ram (US) 6-1, 6-1.

The results (1st round):

Singles - Michael Russell (US) bt Prakash Amritraj (India) 6-3, 6-1; Marcel Granollers (Spain) bt James Ward (Britain) 5-7, 6-2, 6-2; Robby Ginepri (US) bt 1-Robin Soderling (Sweden) 6-4, 7-5; Thiemo de Bakker (The Netherlands) bt 8-Rajeev Ram (US) 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles (1st round): 2-Marcel Granollers (Spain) / Santiago Ventura (Spain) bt Michael Kohlmann (Germany) / Rainer Schuettler (Germany) 7-6 (5), 6-3; Somdev Devvarman (India)/ Sanam Singh (India) bt 4-Rik de Voest (South Africa) / Scott Lipsky (US) 6-2, 7-5.

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