On the first day of the new year, Robin Soderling did something he has previously been unable to do. Coming into the match with an 0-12 record against Roger Federer, the Swede defeated the world number 1 in the semifinals of the exhibition in Abu Dhabi, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-1), 6-2. It may not be recorded as an official match but that didn't negate the feat for Soderling, who told the press, "I always said the more times I, play him, the closer I'll get, and here I am today. So far so good, but it's going to be a long season for sure, hopefully I'll get to play against Roger a few more times.'' In the second semifinal, Rafael Nadal beat countryman David Ferrer, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. Soderling and Nadal last played a month and a half ago at the World Tour Finals, where the Swede advanced in straight sets.
P.S. Roger was using his new racquet from Wilson's soon-to-be-released BLX line.