Tennis: Verdasco beats Soderling to win Barcelona Open
BARCELONA, Spain — Spain's Fernando Verdasco beat Robin Soderling of Sweden 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 Sunday to win the Barcelona Open final for his second title this season.
Verdasco ensured an eighth straight Spanish winner after topping the second-seeded Soderling in a matchup of baseline groundstrokes.
The fifth-seeded Verdasco broke Soderling on consecutive service games to take the first set before faltering in the second set to even the match.
Verdasco scored the decisive break in the fourth game of the last set when Soderling hit wide. Verdasco served out the match for his second title of the season in his third final.
Verdasco dropped to the red clay to savor a win that came only after he accepted a last-minute wild-card invitation.
"I wasn't planning to play this week so you can imagine my feelings right now. It's incredible," the ninth-ranked Verdasco said after improving his overall record in finals to 5-7 while snapping a four-match losing streak to Soderling.
"At the last minute they convinced me to come and now I'm lifting the trophy so thanks to all of them."
Verdasco's clay court season started began last week at the Monte Carlos Masters, where he lost to Rafael Nadal in the final. Nadal skipped the Barcelona Open after winning it five straight years.
The eighth-ranked Soderling was looking to become the first Swede to win the tournament since Kent Carlsson. Soderling fell to 5-8 in career finals.