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Federer falls to Soderling in first 2010 match

World number one Roger Federer has started off 2010 with a defeat in the semifinals of an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.

Sweden’s Robin Soderling beat the Swiss 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 on Friday at the Abu Dhabi international tennis complex.

Soderling dominated a second tie break and took control of the match as Federer missed four crucial break points in the third set.

“Robin achieved some great things last year, particularly at Roland Garros. It was hard to start the year opposite him,” Federer said later.

The tournament, which is not part of the ATP Tour, offers a winner-take-all prize of $250,000 (SFr258,000) and is organised by Abu Dhabi-based property developer Capitala. It features six players.

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