Soderling through to French Open final

Robin Soderling powered into his second successive French Open final today after coming from two sets to one down to beat Tomas Berdych.

Giant-killing Swede Soderling's dream of a first grand slam title hung in the balance when costly errors allowed Berdych to take control of the match.



But the 25-year-old fought back to win 6-3 3-6 5-7 6-3 6-3 after three hours and 27 minutes on a sun-baked Philippe Chatrier Court.



Today's semi-finals were the first in a grand slam not to involve Roger Federer since the 2004 French Open.



The world number one's quarter-final conqueror Soderling was aiming to reach his second successive Roland Garros final, while Berdych had already gone further than he had ever done at a grand slam.



The Czech - who crushed Andy Murray in round four - had not dropped a set all tournament and had comfortably beaten Soderling at the Miami Masters in April, though the latter had won five of their eight meetings.



Serve dominated during the early exchanges, both holding their openers to love.



Indeed, Berdych did not drop a point on serve until game six, but when he did, it proved fatal as a terrible backhand error and and a double-fault helped hand his opponent the first break.



That was enough for the Czech to go a set down and he could have fallen further behind when another double-fault brought up deuce in the opening game of the second.



Another deuce followed in game three before Berdych converted his first break point of the match a game later thanks to a Soderling double-fault and backhand error.



The Czech missed two points for a double-break in game six but it did not matter as he levelled the match three games later.



Soderling was hitting more winners but Berdych was producing far fewer errors.



The latter made three crucial ones to surrender a 0-40 lead in game three of the third set before two double-faults from Soderling handed him the break anyway.



Berdych did his best to gift the Swede parity in his next two service games.



After surviving 30-40 in the first of them, he was made to pay for a flurry of errors in game six as Soderling broke back.



The Swede also had 15-40 in game eight but Berdych clung on and was rewarded when he broke to 30 three games later before serving out the set impressively.



Soderling looked as though he might crack when he fell break point down in the opening game of the fourth set but he held before breaking himself in game six following another double-fault and backhand error from Berdych.



The Swede then stuttered serving for the set, recovering from 30-40 down to take the match into a decider.



A stunning backhand return helped him break to love at the start of the fifth but a double-fault and two forehand errors handed it straight back.



Soderling was nevertheless starting to find his range again and some brilliant play from the Swede took him to 0-40 in game seven, Berdych netting after saving the first break point.



And Soderling sealed victory with his fourth straight game when Berdych went wide serving to stay in the match.



Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there