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The Last Time... With Robin Soderling


Soderling© Getty ImagesRobin Soderling admits being famous earns him some perks back in Sweden.

World No. 5 and two-time Roland Garros finalist Robin Soderling reveals the last time... 

I cooked for myself or others?
The last time I ever cooked... err.... I never cook! When I am home my girlfriend cooks for me or we go to a restaurant. I have never cooked for my parents. No. I might have boiled an egg for breakfast once. I can cook pasta, but not much.

I flew economy class?
I flew here to Estoril. Every time I fly short routes around Europe I go economy. Only the longer flights I book a business class ticket.

I met a childhood idol?
[After much consideration]... I met Mats Sundin, the ice hockey player, who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs. I met him only a couple of weeks ago in Stockholm.

I shared a hotel room with another player?
It must have been a long time ago. Probably at a Futures tournament.

I paid money to hire a court or buy tennis balls?
Last year in Barcelona, I came a week before the tournament and we couldn’t get the balls we wanted. We went to a sports stores, a Decathlon, to buy 20 cans of balls. After I paid, the guy asked me for my autograph. Hiring a court... it must have been a long time ago. I can't remember.

I played a practical joke in the locker room?
We do it a little bit in Davis Cup, but not on the tour. Every time I go to the tennis and I am in the locker room, I like to focus on my game so I don’t do it too much.

I forgot a family member’s birthday?
Yeah, for sure I have. Whenever it is my Mum’s birthday, my Dad always reminds me and my Mum reminds me of my sister’s birthday. Without them I would probably forget them all.

Being famous helped me?
It helps a lot at restaurants in Sweden. The popular restaurants are always full. So being recognised does help me get a table, which is very nice.

I strung a tennis racquet?
It must have been 10 years ago. I remember I was really slow. I can string, but it takes me one hour, an hour and a half. It takes me a while. My string tension hasn’t changed much since I was a junior. Maybe a little bit looser, one kilo.

I lost something important?
I lost my computer on a plane a year ago. It was really tough. I had so many important things on it and I had no back-up. So that was brutal.

I last asked someone for their autograph?
I remember I collected a lot of autographs of tennis players as a kid. But recently it was Henrik Larsson, the Swedish footballer. I asked him for an autograph for my sister’s son.

I played another sport that might have caused me a minor injury?
No, I try not to play other sports. Sometimes I play ice hockey in Sweden in the winter, but not too much. In Davis Cup we play football and you’re always close to injury there!

I was asked if I was a tennis player?
It must have been when I was last in the United States. When you stand in an elevator and you see the person wants to strike up a conversation. ‘Hey, you play tennis?’ It normally happens when I am carrying six tennis racquets.

I missed a flight?
I am always pretty late, but I am careful. It was a long time ago. Probably Munich several years ago. After I had had surgery they changed gates and I couldn’t walk to the gate fast enough. I was on crutches hobbling along. I must have missed it by five minutes!

I had a bad hotel experience?
I’ve always stayed at pretty good hotels. I am not that picky. If there is a good bed I like it. I have never really had a bad experience. Maybe in juniors we went to somewhere in eastern Europe and the hotels weren’t great.

I played on a bad court surface?
It was probably really bad whenever you play on clay courts in Sweden. Apart from Bastad, which has great courts. We only play two or three months outdoors, so the courts do get pretty uneven. 

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