x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Soderling is elbowed out

Home favourite Robin Soderling was forced to withdraw from the Stockholm Open semi-final yesterday, sending Marcos Baghdatis through to the final without the Cypriot having to strike a ball.

Home favourite Robin Soderling was forced to withdraw from the Stockholm Open semi-final yesterday, sending Marcos Baghdatis through to the final without the Cypriot having to strike a ball. Baghdatis will face Olivier Rochus after the Belgian outlasted the Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 7-6, 4-6, 6-3. Soderling, the top seed, was unable to play because of an elbow injury.

The world No 10, who is chasing a spot in the season-ending Masters Cup in London, received treatment for the injury during his quarter-final over Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Soderling lost in the Stockholm final last year to Argentine David Nalbandian. Olga Govortsova, of Belarus, stayed on course for her maiden title by thrashing an out-of-sorts Russian Alisa Kleybanova 6-2, 6-1 in the Kremlin Cup semi-finals yesterday.

In today's final, the 67th-ranked Govortsova will take on eighth seed Italian Francesca Schiavone, who crushed Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko 6-4, 6-0. Just a handful of spectators turned out to watch the women's semi-finals after most of the high-profile players were knocked out in the first two rounds. Schiavone, however, paid little attention to a sparse crowd disposing of the 36th-ranked Ukrainian in just over an hour.

"I played better than her," said the 29-year-old, who was the highest women's seed to reach the quarter-finals. "I was more aggressive and was dictating the points for most of the match, except for a short period late in the first set. "I hope I can continue my good form in the final," added the world No 24, who has lost nine out of 10 career finals. In the second semi-final, Govortsova took the initiative from the start by breaking Kleybanova's serve in the opening game.

Melis Sezer cracked the German monopoly as she won the girl's title at the eighth ITF Junior Tennis Championships yesterday. The Turkish No 1 seed, ninth in the world rankings, beat Kim Berghaus 6-2, 6-0 in the final at the Aviation Centre in Dubai. The German Chris Plattes won the boy's title with a 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 win over compatriot Julien Lenz. @Email:sports@thenational.ae