Söderling falls short in reaching Valencia final

Hometown favourite David Ferrer produced a fine display of attacking tennis to knock out Swedish favourite Robin Söderling 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 and reach the final of the Valencia Open on Saturday.

Söderling falls short in reaching Valencia final
Sweden's Robin Söderling at the Stockholm Open against Florian Meyer, October 22

Second seed Söderling has been in the form of his life and with the UK’s Andy Murray knocked out, he was clearly the man to beat. Going into the semi-final, Söderling had yet to lose a set and nonchalantly dispatched Frenchman Gaël Monfils 6-3, 6-2 in the previous round.

Söderling had won three out of the four meetings with Ferrer this year, but they had won one each from the last two occasions. It was a match as billed between Söderling’s strong serve and volley game and Ferrer’s quality ground strokes, with the Spaniard coming out on top.

Ferrer controlled the majority of the rallies as Söderling made too many errors. Only 55 per cent of his first serves went in as he lost the first set 6-3. Söderling responded immediately, going 2-0 ahead in the second and went on to level the match.

In the final set, errors from both players led to several breaks of serve before Ferrer persevered to win 6-3.

Eighth in the world, fourth seed Ferrer has had a less than spectacular season, but still reached the finals in Rome, Buenos Aires and Acapulco. He needed to make the final in Valencia to qualify for the ATP Masters Cup in London.

At home on clay, Ferrer produced some of his best hard court tennis to beat Italy’s Potito Starace in the quarter-finals and was primed for the challenge of powerful Söderling.

An upset in the second semi-final saw lucky loser Marcel Granollers of Spain beat Frenchman Gilles Simon.

Granollers, ranked 52, came in for the injured Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and has taken full advantage. He beat Argentina’s Juan Mónaco, Murray’s conqueror, in the last round and has now made it through to the final after out-playing Simon.

The Frenchman has been in good form and beat Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko to reach the semis, but Granollers broke at 3-2 before going on to take the first set and then also came out on top in a scrappy second to win 6-4.

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REMINDER: What are the new Covid restrictions in Spain’s Valencia region?

If you live in or are soon visiting Alicante, Valencia or Castellón, these are the new eased restrictions for the coastal region starting on Monday May 24th 2021.

REMINDER: What are the new Covid restrictions in Spain's Valencia region?
Photo: Jose Jordán/AFP

The Comunidad Valenciana’s persistently low infection rate – currently 20 cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days – has allowed regional authorities to ease coronavirus restrictions, some of the strictest in Spain since the start of the third wave in January.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re living in or visiting the Valencia region soon. 


The curfew will remain in place in the region after May 24th but it will start later than previously, at 1am instead of midnight. That means that except for exceptional reasons, nobody can be outdoors from 1am to 6am. 

Valencian regional president Ximo Puig has stressed that if the epidemiological situation remains stable, the curfew – or toque de queda in Spanish – will be lifted as of June 7th.

Bars, cafés and restaurants

From Monday 24th, bars, restaurants and cafés can stay open until 12.30 am, one hour later than the previous closing time.

A capacity of 50 percent is allowed inside the premises and 100 percent on outdoor terraces. 

Sitting at the bar, smoking (including electronic cigarettes or hookahs) and dancing  indoors or outdoors are still prohibited.

Family and social gatherings

A limit of 10 people is established in public spaces both outdoors and indoors, except in the case of people who are living under the same roof. 

Inside homes and other private use spaces, the limit of 10 people also applies and only people from two households can gather.

Beaches and nature

The use of the mask is still mandatory when walking around on beaches, around swimming pools, lakes and other natural spaces.

However, as long as you can keep a distance of 1.5 metres with others, you will be allowed to take off your mask while sunbathing or sitting in one spot at the beach. 

If you’re going for a dip in the sea, you don’t have to wear a mask as it’s incompatible with swimming, whereas if you’re going for a stroll along the shore you do have to keep your mask on. 

Groups at the beach, swimming pool or in nature cannot exceed ten people.

Celebrations and events

The capacity is increased up to 75 percent for activities relating to celebrations, events or gatherings of a sporting, cultural or social nature, as well as for political rallies.

In churches and other places of worship it’s still important to abide by a safe distance of 1.5 metres between gatherers.

In enclosed spaces, a maximum of 3,000 people are allowed, while in open spaces, the limit is set at 4,000 people. 

In both cases, the capacity has to be separated into groups of 1,000 people each.

 In addition, eating and drinking will only be allowed in areas specially enabled for this purpose.


How Spain’s Valencia region achieved one of Europe’s lowest infection rates