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    Default Chennai Open: Soderling is up for the challenge

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    Top seed Robin Soderling sent out a strong message to the 32-man field of the USD 400,000 ATP Aircel Chennai Open tennis tournament, saying he is in good form and the Abu Dhabi event, where he reached the final last week, gave him the best possible preparation.

    In his first media interaction here Monday, the 25-year-old from Sweden, currently ranked No.8, said: "I got to play some of the world's best players in Abu Dhabi last week and that was the best possible preparation for me coming in to this tournament. I am in good form and hope to do well here in Chennai."

    In the Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament, Soderling edged out Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland who is the third seed at the Chennai Open, before defeating Federer to enter the final where he lost to Rafael Nadal.

    On his first win against Federer after 12 defeats, including in the final of the 2009 French Open, Soderling said: "I guess, I must have learnt something after losing to Roger 12 times. He is the world's best player and possibly, the greatest ever."

    Looking ahead to the Australian Open in Melbourne later this month, Soderling said he opted to play in Chennai as he had never played here. "In the past, I had played in Doha, Brisbane and other tournaments. I have never played here in Chennai before and it looks to be a good tournament," he said.

    Having broken into the top-10 for the first time in his career, Soderling hoped to improve his game further. "I have not set any specific goals for 2010, but would like to focus on my game and improve further."

    When asked on the issue of doping in tennis, Soderling admitted the frequent testing by WADA and the whereabout clause were irritants.

    "It is tough on players to make themselves available for tests and also to inform on where they would be on a particular day. But there have been some doping cases in tennis and I guess, we have to comply (with the WADA rules)," he said.


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