Forever to be known as the first player to ever beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open, Robin Soderling has finally announced his retirement.
“With this letter I want to inform you that I have decided to end my career as a professional tennis player,” Soderling wrote in a statement via Google Translation. “A few weeks before the ATP race the Swedish Open in Bastad in 2011 I became ill in glandular fever. Since I was not then realized the seriousness of this, I made the mistake of continue to train and compete with the virus in the body which also resulted in that I suffered a sharp overtraining syndrome. I have since struggled to recover completely from this.
“With the disease it has been impossible for me to train one hundred percent and I forced to rest after any physical effort. Some periods I felt so bad that I was completely bedridden. This past year, however, my health improved and I have been able to increase my exercise dose, but my recovery after exercise works unfortunately still not as I would like.
“To play the competitions that require physical exertion over an extended period has thus been excluded. In all the years I have believed that I would be able to take me back to the world elite in tennis but now I’ve realized that I will not be healthy enough that I will be able to play tennis at the level I demand of myself. The reason I have decided to end my career as a professional tennis player.
“Of course this is a very sad decision. Now in hindsight, I feel that I should have listened better to my body, and then have avoided the illness but on the other hand, it is always easy to be wise and tennis is a sport that requires that they maximize their workouts to maintain a position in the top of the world. With that in mind, and then I know I’ve done everything in my power in recent years to eradicate the disease, I can, without major difficulties to take this decision. Instead of being annoyed everywhere I potentially have passed, and loses, I feel fortunate and can proudly look back on my career as very successful. I have achieved and have experienced things that few are privileged.
“Although my career as a tennis player over I see a bright future and my schedule for the next few years are already packed. First of all, I have my wonderful partner and two children I spend a lot of time with. I have also been instrumental in starting the company RS-Tennis, where we manufacture tennis balls and other tennis equipment. It’s been surprisingly good for RS-tennis and we have already established sales in more than forty countries in the world. This is something I will now be able to add even more time trying to improve and develop.
“First and foremost, I want to thank my family who have supported and shown patience for me all these years. I also want to thank my fans who have shown tremendous support, both during my career, but even also in recent years been very tough for me. Without this support I would never have been able to continue to try to get back to the top.”
Soderling is the Stockholm tournament director and he runs tennis ball company.
31-year-old finishes with 10 career titles including one Masters title in Paris. He also reached two Grand Slam finals at the 2009 and 2010 French Opens. He reached a career-high No. 4 on November 15, 2010.
He was ranked No. 5 when he last played winning 2011 Bastad. His final point:
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