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By Lauren Lynch
Photo Credit: Andy Kentla

(June 3, 2010) Robin Soderling has yet to win a Grand Slam title, but Bjorn Borg is backing the big-hitting Swede as a future World No. 1. And Borg believes Soderling's rise to the top will come sooner rather than later.

In the aftermath of Soderling's impressive conquest of World No. 1 Roger Federer in the French Open quarterfinals that snapped the reigning Roland Garros champion's record streak of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinal appearances, Borg said Soderling is on the fast track to the top spot.

"Robin played a perfect match. He continually reaches new levels and now I dare say it — Robin will become world number one, and he will do it quicker than we think," Borg told the Swedish newspaper Expressen. "I've never seen Robin better than against Federer. It almost looked like it was Robin who had 12 straight victories against Federer and not vice versa."


Winless in 12 prior matches against Federer, Soderling's victory over the 16-time Grand Slam champion came a year after he defeated Rafael Nadal, snapping the four-time French Open champion's 31-match Roland Garros winning streak. Borg said Soderling was so dominant, he made Federer look "like a novice."

"This was even more brutal than when he beat Nadal last year," Borg said. "Federer was like a novice when Robin stood there and killed the ball to the right and left."

Six-time French Open champion Borg said he's confident Soderling will beat Tomas Berdych in the semifinals.

"Robin has every attribute that tennis players should have, but he can obviously do better in everything he does out there. First in the world is and should be the goal," said Borg. "There is probably no one tennis player in the world with more confidence right now."


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