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Robin Soderling Quarterfinal Press Conference

Indian Wells, CA, USA

March 19, 2010


6-1, 7-6

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  So what did you feel the key to the victory was today?
ROBIN SODERLING:  I was pretty sure before the match that it was    that it is almost impossible to outpower Andy because he's moving really well and he puts everything back.
You know, I really felt it the first game, which was a crucial hold for me.  And then after that, I think, you know, I started to play not as aggressive and I was waiting a little bit for my opportunities, and it worked pretty well.

Q.  So you felt like you had to mix it up a little bit, be patient?
ROBIN SODERLING:  Yeah, I had to, because as I said, you know, it's tough to go for every shot and be too aggressive against Andy.
So I had to wait for my opportunities a little bit more and maybe wait for him to do something as well sometimes.

Q.  Did you feel he moved as well as you would have expected?
ROBIN SODERLING:  It's tough to say, because I haven't played him in four years, and I only practiced with him once or twice.  So it's tough to say.
But, you know, he moves really well.  He moves definitely a lot better than me, so...  (laughter.)

Q.  It must feel nice to be in your first Masters 1000 semifinal?
ROBIN SODERLING:  Yeah, it feels great, and especially here in Indian Wells, because my record here hasn't been so well.  I thought I couldn't do well here, and now I show I really can.

Q.  Why do you think you struggled here?
ROBIN SODERLING:  I have no idea.  It's the same with    a little bit with Australia, you know.  I never really did well in Australia; never did well here before.
You know, the conditions here are pretty good for my game.

Q.  Do you think that a year or two ago when you didn't serve out the match from being 30 Love up, he had a quick service game and then you were Love 30 down, that you might have let the match slip away, but this time you came back and brought it back?
ROBIN SODERLING:  Yeah, it could have happened.  It could have happened today, as well.  But, you know, I was pretty sure my only chance to win the match was to stay calm and hopefully take it to a tiebreak.
Then in the tiebreaker everything can happen.  But, of course, I was a little bit    I was a little bit nervous going out serving for the match at 5 4.  I got up to 30 Love, and then I don't think I really did anything wrong.
Maybe I could have been a little bit aggressive on the third point.  But after that, you know, he played really well.  So all credit to him, because he played well where he needed it the most.

Q.  You've beaten Andy Roddick the two times you've played him.  Why did you have success against him?
ROBIN SODERLING:  We played two times    two times we played indoors on really fast surfaces.  I think we played four sets, and then three of them went to tiebreakers.  So the margin has been really small, and I'm sure it's going to be like the same way tomorrow again.
You know, I will probably have one or two opportunities, and then I really have to play well and take them.

Q.  Can you talk about those tiebreakers against Andy?  Because I think you won all of them.  Out of the three tiebreakers you play, you won all of them.  Why have you been successful in the tiebreakers against Andy Roddick?  What's the key?
ROBIN SODERLING:  I wish I knew.  Again, you know, especially indoors, the margins are really small.  And in the tiebreak like that, there's only one or two points.  You know, the difference gonna be very small.
You know, you have to stay focused and really play well on the important points.  Because, you know, there's only going to be one or two points against the serve in every tiebreak.

Q.  Would be consider this win over Murray your biggest after the Nadal victory?
ROBIN SODERLING:  Well, it's tough to say, you know.  I beat a lot of good players last year, and I started off this year very well, as well.
Of course it's a big win, because Andy is definitely one of the best players in the world.  He played really well so far this year, so of course it's a big match.

Q.  It seems like everything in your game has improved over the last year or 18 months.  What's the biggest reason for that?  What's the most important?
ROBIN SODERLING:  I worked hard.  (laughter.)
Yeah, I worked hard, and, you know, I think I changed the way how I think a little bit.  You know, a couple years ago I was very focused on playing well all the time.  And now, you know, what matters to me now is to win matches.
Doesn't matter if I play well and win matches or play bad and win matches.  You still have to win.

Q.  How did you change?  Did you use sports psychologists?
ROBIN SODERLING:  No, Magnus taught me a lot, because he said, you know, when he had his best year 2000, he was ranked No. 2 in the world.  He said, You know, I didn't play    of course he played well sometimes, but many, many times he didn't play well at all.  And he told me he won the tournament in Shanghai, and he said, I played so bad.
But it doesn't matter.  It's not going to be there in the history books.  What's gonna to be there is that he won the tournament.
You know, he made me believe that I can still win matches, even though if I don't play my best tennis.

Q.  That's not an easy thing to do, is it?
ROBIN SODERLING:  No.  But, you know, I try to think like that every time I practice, every time I go to the court.  After a while, you know, you know it helped.  I proved to myself that I can actually win.
Because last year, you know, I had a great year, but it was the same for me.  I didn't play well every match that I won.

Q.  How do you feel the way you're playing in this tournament?
ROBIN SODERLING:  I don't care.  (laughter.)
No, of course I play well.  I beat Andy today, and you have to play well to beat him.  So when my form is good, I hope to    I think I improved a little bit from match to match, and I hope to play even better tomorrow.

Q.  How would you assess the quality of your all around game in that first set today?
ROBIN SODERLING:  It was really good.  I didn't make    I didn't make any mistakes at all, I think.  I was moving relate pretty well, serving well, and I went for my shot and in the right moments.
So it was a really good first set; second set was also good.  But I think the first set was really, really good.

Q.  Other than his serve, what would be considered Roddick's best qualities as a player?
ROBIN SODERLING:  I think he actually moves pretty well.  He plays really aggressive in his service game, and then it's tough, because he's not missing a lot in his    when his opponent is serving.
So it's always, of course, very tough to break him, and then you have to play really well to hold serve.

Q.  A lot of people think of him more of a super aggressive player, but would you say in a lot of ways he's more of a consistent player from the back court?
ROBIN SODERLING:  Yeah, I think so.  In his service game he plays really aggressive.  Of course, with that serve that is not very difficult.  Then in the return games, as I said, he's not missing a lot.  Of course he goes for his shots when he has the opportunity, but he's not playing very, very aggressive.

Q.  When you take the courts against the very top players, the Murrays, Nadals, Federers, have you made the transition from thinking if I play well I have a chance to thinking I have a good chance or I expect to win this match?
ROBIN SODERLING:  I think by winning a lot of matches against good players, it's the best way to improve your confidence.  And I think last year, you know, I won a lot of matches against really good players.  So you really have to believe in your game.
For me, as I said, I don't have to    I don't have to play well every time.  I just have to believe that I can win even if I don't play well.  And I'm pretty sure that my level is good enough to beat anyone in the world.

Q.  Going back to your game, if there's something you feel like you could still add or something you'd like to add to your game, what would that be?
ROBIN SODERLING:  Yeah, I'd like to improve everything.  You know, if you look at the top guys, they don't have any weaknesses at all.  If you look at Roger, he handles every aspect of the game so well.
So I'd like to improve everything.  But the thing I work most on is my movement around the court and my volley.

Q.  Given that you've been a very talented and good player for a number of years now, are you surprised it's taken you this long to reach a semifinal of a Masters Series?
ROBIN SODERLING:  No.  I wouldn't say I'm surprised, because I'm    I'm pretty sure that for the last five or six years I had a game to reach the top 10, but I have to    you have to do well in not only one or two tournaments a year.  You have to be very consistent and then do well week out and week in.       

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