New Delhi: Robin Soderling, who famously became the first man to beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open, has finally called it a day after fighting glandular fever for four years.
The former world number four from Sweden has retired from professional tennis early this week. The 31-year-old, twice a runner-up at Roland Garros, had not played an ATP World Tour event since 2011.
He contracted infectious mononucleosis, a viral illness also known as glandular fever, in 2011.
“I’ve realised that I will not be healthy enough to be able to play tennis at the level I demand of myself,” Soderling told tennis.se.
“For that reason I have decided to end my career as a professional tennis player.”
“Thank you so much for all your kind words. So sad I won’t play professional tennis again, but reading all your messages makes me feel a lot better,” Soderling said later on his Twitter account.
Thank u so much for all your kind words.So sad I won't play professional tennis again, but reading all ur msgs makes me feel a lot better❤️
— Robin Söderling (@RSoderling) December 23, 2015
In 2009 he ended Nadal’s domination at Roland Garros with a fourth round win, only to lose to Roger Federer in the final, which was also the Swiss maestro's only title there.
Until Novak Djokovic defeated Nadal in the 2015 quarter-finals, Soderling was the only player to have beaten the Spaniard at Roland Garros.
In an ATP career spanning a decade, Soderling won 10 career titles including the 2010 Paris Masters.