Söderling win keeps Sweden in Davis Cup

Sweden has retained its place in the Davis Cup after Robin Söderling defeated Italy's Simone Bolelli in straight sets in Lidköping on Sunday.

Söderling win keeps Sweden in Davis Cup

Sweden secured World Group status by beating Italy 3-2. After the outcome was decided, teammate Andreas Vinciguerra lost to Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-3 in a dead rubber match in what is likely to have been his final Davis Cup outing for Sweden.

As the two teams entered the last day of play tied at one apiece, Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti chose Bolelli, Italy’s third-ranked men’s singles player, instead of Potito Starace, the top Italian man, to face the powerful Swede, but it made no difference to the outcome, with Söderling winning 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

Bolelli beat Söderling in their last meeting in 2009, just as Starace had done, but the fast Plexipave surface of the Sparbanken Lidköping Arena overpowered the Italian as the world’s fifth-ranked player ripped home service winners at an even faster pace than against Fognini on Friday.

Bolelli may have lasted 25 minutes longer than his teammate, but Söderling pounded five more aces past him, 23 in all.

“A different surface and, I think, a different player now,” Bolelli said in reference to his competitor. “He was strong also when I played him, but now he’s five in the world, he’s won many important matches, he’s improved a lot. His serve was almost impossible to play today.”

The disappointment of losing the doubles match the previous day after winning the first two sets left the Italian team somewhat deflated. It was one of the reasons that Starace was replaced, as well as fatigue from playing twice in two days and that Bolelli enjoys playing indoors.

As a result, the pressure was on for Söderling.

In the fifth game of the opening set, he served a full house of aces to take a 4-1 lead, having broken Bolelli in the previous game. In the fourth game of the second set, Bolelli was ahead 15-30 on Söderling’s serve before Söderling swatted three consecutive aces in response.

Breaking Bolelli in the next game, he set up break point by winning the longest rally of the match. Match point was also clinched with an ace.

On Friday, Starace beat Vinciguerra 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, while Söderling won 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 against Fognini. In doubles action on Saturday, Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt teamed up to defeat Bolelli and Starace 5-7, 6-7 (7/0), 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 7-5.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


German tourists among 13 dead in Italy cable car accident

Thirteen people, including German tourists, have been killed after a cable car disconnected and fell near the summit of the Mottarone mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.

German tourists among 13 dead in Italy cable car accident
The local emergency services published this photograph of the wreckage. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

The accident was announced by Italy’s national fire and rescue service, Vigili del Fuoco, at 13.50 on Sunday, with the agency saying over Twitter that a helicopter from the nearby town of Varese was on the scene. 

Italy’s National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps confirmed that there were 13 victims and two seriously injured people.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported that German tourists were among the 13 victims.

According to their report, there were 15 passengers inside the car — which can hold 35 people — at the time a cable snapped, sending it tumbling into the forest below. Two seriously injured children, aged nine and five, were airlifted to hospital in Turin. 

The cable car takes tourists and locals from Stresa, a resort town on Lake Maggiore up to a panoramic peak on the Mottarone mountain, reaching some 1,500m above sea level. 

According to the newspaper, the car had been on its way from the lake to the mountain when the accident happened, with rescue operations complicated by the remote forest location where the car landed. 

The cable car had reopened on April 24th after the end of the second lockdown, and had undergone extensive renovations and refurbishments in 2016, which involved the cable undergoing magnetic particle inspection (MPI) to search for any defects. 

Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Twitter that he expressed his “condolences to the families of the victims, with special thoughts for the seriously injured children and their families”.

Infrastructure Minister Enrico Giovannini told Italy’s Tg1 a commission of inquiry would be established, according to Corriere della Sera: “Our thoughts go out to those involved. The Ministry has initiated procedures to set up a commission and initiate checks on the controls carried out on the infrastructure.”

“Tomorrow morning I will be in Stresa on Lake Maggiore to meet the prefect and other authorities to decide what to do,” he said.