Nadal, Soderling set up quarterfinal clash at French Open

09:00, May 31, 2011      

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World No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain and Sweden ace Robin Soderling will lock horns three years in a row at Roland Garros after both won in straight sets in the last 16 round at the French Open.

The five-time French Open champion Nadal saw off Croatian veteran Ivan Ljubicic 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 before the fifth seed Soderling overcame the home favorite Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-3 and 7-6 (5).

Soderling, 26, was the giant killer at the 2009 French Open as he became the only one who had ever beaten Nadal at Roland Garros but lost in the final to Roger Federer. The big hitter reached the final back-to-back last year, but failed to repeat his stunning victory against Nadal.

"I have to play well. I have to be mentally ready for a really tough match," Soderling looked ahead his clash with the Spaniard. "He's not going to give you anything. You have to fight. Against Rafa you have to fight for every point."

The 24-year-old Nadal is bidding to become the second man after Bjorn Borg to win six titles in the tournament, but Soderling could be a big threat in his campaign.

"He's an incredible all-round player. It's going to be a hard match," said Nadal. "I will have to play really well."

Source: Xinhua
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