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Soderling To Miss Roland Garros; Announces Baby On The Way

Robin Soderling

Soderling© SkiStar Swedish OpenSoderling lifted his 10th trophy in Bastad last July in his latest appearance.

The second Grand Slam event of the season begins this Sunday, 27 May, in Paris, but one familiar face will be missing from the draw.

Two-time Roland Garros finalist Robin Soderling, away from the ATP World Tour the past 10 months due to a battle with mononucleosis, is not fit to return to action yet. In happier news, the Swede announced that he and his fiancée Jenni will become parents later this year.

“I think even if I was 100 per cent healthy tomorrow, I still need some time to train and get back in shape. I don’t know how long that will be, but maybe at least a few months,” Soderling said during a phone interview Monday.

“Then it is a question of when I can fully start to train again. I don’t know if that will be one month or one year. When I come back, it will take some time to get into shape again. I don’t see the point in training for one week and then going to try and play a match again.

“The most important thing is that I’m feeling better and better. It’s very slow. Now, I feel pretty good during the days. But training, more intense training, my body cannot take. I get too tired.”

The former World No. 4 has not taken the court recently, opting to take his time with the recovery process from the infection. Doctors have not set a timetable for his return.

“The doctors I’ve been talking to have been saying I will get well, but that it can take a long time. I have to hope for getting better sooner than later,” said Soderling. “The last couple of months I haven’t done much hitting at all. I made a mistake a couple times coming back too soon in the fall and had some setbacks. I’m a little bit scared of doing too much and training too hard. I’m trying to gradually step it up and do more and more, but it’s still pretty far from 100 per cent.”

Soderling’s last appearance was a memorable one, as he stormed to victory at his home event in Bastad, capturing his 10th ATP World Tour title at the SkiStar Swedish Open without dropping a set. His triumph included Top 10 wins over then eighth-ranked Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals and World No. 6 David Ferrer in the final.

“I played some unbelievable tennis that week. I have great memories from Bastad,” reflected Soderling. “I love to play the Swedish tournaments. The thing I’ve been thinking about a lot is I started to have the mono symptoms during Wimbledon, but during the week of Bastad, I felt great. And then a few days after, it came back. So I’m really thankful for that, but it’s really strange.”

Put on the spot to reveal his pick to win this year’s Roland Garros crown, Soderling said, “It’s always tough to stop Nadal in Paris. So far he’s been the favourite for many years and I think he’s the favourite this year. But it’s going to be tough. There are a lot of players in great form right now.”

Soderling revealed Monday morning on his Twitter account that he and his fiancée are expecting their first child in late September.

“Hi everyone. I have the best news. Jenni an I are becoming parents in late September. We are both very happy and excited.”

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