Söderling sets sights on Stockholm Open success

Swedish tennis star and French Open finalist Robin Söderling resumes his fight to earn one of the three remaining spots in the ATP World Tour Finals when he plays as top seed at his home Stockholm Open starting Monday.

The Swede currently occupies a provisional ninth in the race for the prestigious eight-man World Tour Finals in London from November 22nd.

Standing between him and a spot is Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. The difference is just 210 points – and a title at the Kungliga Tennishallen will help him close the gap.

“I try not to think about it too much, because it only makes me nervous,” said the 11th-ranked star, a Paris finalist five months ago against Roger Federer.

“I try to focus on every match instead and hopefully do well in every match.”

Söderling reached the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters, losing to Spain’s Feliciano Lopez after knocking out London rival Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The top seed opens with a qualifier in the first round.

German Tommy Haas will try and recover form after his shoulder-injury exit in China – a long trip to Asia for nothing – with a start against Frenchman Florent Serra.

Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero takes the third seeding, returning to he capital for the first time since losing in the first round nine years ago.

Germans take two more of the seedings behind Haas, with Andreas Beck on fifth and Benjamin Becker sixth.

The event will be missing defending champion David Nalbandian as the Argentine recovers from his spring hip surgery, with an exhibition return set at home in December.

Söderling will attempt to become the first Swedish champion in Stockholm since Thomas Johansson in 2004.

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