Soderling, only man to beat Nadal at French Open, ponders return

Wednesday June 4th, 2014
Robin Söderling (right) beat Rafael Nadal (in pink) in four sets in round four of the 2009 French Open.
Bob Martin/SI

Three years ago at Wimbledon, Söderling felt sick. His throat hurt. His stomach didn't feel right. He had little energy. He lost to Bernard Tomic in straight sets in the third round. But then his health improved, and the week after Wimbledon, he won the Swedish Open without dropping a set. He was fifth in the world. And then, he says, the sickness he felt at Wimbledon came back in a fierce way. The diagnosis was mono. He withdrew from the 2011 U.S. Open, then the fall events, then the entire 2012 season. He hasn't played since.

Robin Söderling lost in the third round of Wimbledon in 2011, played one more event that year and has been absent ever since.
Glyn Kirk/Getty Images

"I've been playing tennis -- it's been a part of my life -- since I was 4, so it's been tough to go without," he said. "I look at Tommy Haas, who is in the top [20] and is 36 years old, and it makes feel more positive. You know one of the reasons I want to play? I want to quit on my own terms. I want to quit when I feel it's enough. Right now, it's not enough."

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