Rapid-fire Soderling revels in duck shoot arcade
London: Ready, aim, fire. Robin Soderling served as if shooting the heads off arcade ducks at Wimbledon on Tuesday -- and hapless American Robby Ginepri was caught in the crossfire.
Confidence leads to success and Soderling appears to have it in abundance right now if the Swede`s fleeting first round appearance on Tuesday is anything to go by.
Ginepri had no answers to the sixth seed`s blockbusting serve or the power of his groundstrokes as he succumbed to a quickfire 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 defeat against the twice French Open finalist.
The 25-year-old Soderling has finally begun to fulfil his enormous talent on the red clay of Roland Garros, reaching successive French Open finals before falling to the game`s greats - Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal - at the final hurdle.
His Wimbledon exploits to date, however, have made little impression at the All England Club. In seven previous visits, Soderling has reached the last 16 just once.
While the game`s best grasscourt protagonists are unlikely to raise too many eyebrows at Soderling`s easy opener -- Ginepri has now fallen in the first round for six years in succession -- the Swede fired an ominous warning to future opponents: His serve is on fire.
Soderling won 42 out of 46 points on first serve, a phenomenal statistic. Ginepri did not win a point on Soderling`s first serve in the first set and just one in the second. The Swede then took his foot off the gas a little in the third, allowing Ginepri two break points in the fifth game.
His riposte? He fired down two aces and went on to hold serve.
"I served really well. I think when I do that, especially on grass, I always play well," he reflected.
"Of course, it`s always difficult to break me. Then I can relax a little bit in the return games and today I really did that. I think I played a really good first round match."
Soderling`s run to the French Open final again, and beating Federer along the way, has reinforced a self-belief that appeared to be lacking in his formative years on the tour.
"Winning many matches against big players gives you confidence... and confidence is a big thing in this sport," he said.
"I think I learned a lot from last year`s Roland Garros, not only that tournament but from the whole last year when I played a lot of big matches against good players.”
"If I play like this I have a good chance to win more matches.”