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Soderling sets up Brisbane semi-final with Stepanek

Other News Materials 7 January 2011 12:38
Top seed Robin Soderling and 2010 finalist Radek Stepanek set up a semi-final at the Brisbane International Friday with a pair of effortless, straight-set victories.
Soderling sets up Brisbane semi-final with Stepanek

Top seed Robin Soderling and 2010 finalist Radek Stepanek set up a semi-final at the Brisbane International Friday with a pair of effortless, straight-set victories, DPA reported.

Swede Soderling ended with his ninth ace after 71 minutes to conclude the dream run of young Australian Matthew Ebden 6-3, 6-2. Veteran Czech Stepanek, losing finalist a year ago to Andy Roddick, beat German seventh seed Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-3.

"I've been serving really well all week," Soderling said. "I haven't been broken yet."

Qualifier Ebden, 23, from Perth and ranked 196, played a respectable game against the world number five, a finalist at the last two editions of the French Open. But Soderling showed the talent gap in the end to advance. Soderling never faced a break point in his winning effort.

"It's the first week of the year, and I've played eight matches, including a couple in the doubles, so it's a great start," Ebden said. "That's very important leading into the rest of the year."

Stepanek won the first edition of the Brisbane event in 2009 and has been a faithful participant ever since.

"Since the first tournament, I've felt very well on the court here," the Czech said. "When you win a tournament, it's obviously a favourite place. You want to go back."

Soderling and Stepanek joined Roddick in the semi-finals with the American set to face off Saturday against South African Kevin Anderson.

"I have a really difficult match coming up," Soderling said. "I've played against Radek many times, and we've always had tough matches, so I have to stay focussed on this one."

In the women's semi-finals, French fourth seed Marion Bartoli was to play Andrea Petkovic of Germany while Russian fifth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was to play Czech Petra Kvitova.

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