Soderling mauls Monfils to reach Valencia semis

Valencia : Second seed Robin Soderling set up a possible semi-final against local favourite David Ferrer when he brushed aside Gael Monfils 6-3 6-2 to reach the last four of the Valencia Open on Friday.

The Swedish world number five did not face a single break point against the Frenchman, who won a tournament in Montpellier last week, and converted three of his four opportunities to break the Monfils serve.

He will play the winner of the match later on Friday (1900 GMT) between Ferrer, the fourth seed who is desperate for ranking points to clinch a spot at this month`s ATP World Tour finals in London, and unseeded Italian Potito Starace.

Saturday`s other semi-final will be between Monfils`s compatriot Gilles Simon and Spaniard Marcel Granollers.

Simon squeaked past Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 6-4 6-7 6-3 and Granollers overcame a poor first set to beat Argentine Juan Monaco 1-6 6-3 6-4.

Ferrer has a good chance of clinching one of the three remaining berths at the Nov. 21-28 Tour finals, for which Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Soderling have all qualified.

As of Friday, Tomas Berdych, Andy Roddick, Fernando Verdasco, Mikhail Youzhny and Juergen Melzer can still qualify, with the Paris Masters to come next week.

Bureau Report