Robin Söderling

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Robin Söderling
Robin Söderling at US Open 2010.jpg
Full name Robin Bo Carl Söderling
Country (sports)  Sweden
Residence Monte Carlo, Monaco
Born (1984-08-14) 14 August 1984 (age 31)
Tibro, Sweden
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)[1]
Turned pro 2001
Retired 23 December 2015 (last match 2011)
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money US$ 10,423,124
Career record 310–170 (65.00%)
Career titles 10
Highest ranking No. 4 (15 November 2010)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 4R (2011)
French Open F (2009, 2010)
Wimbledon QF (2010)
US Open QF (2009, 2010)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals SF (2009)
Olympic Games 1R (2004, 2008)
Career record 33–43
Career titles 1
Highest ranking No. 109 (9 May 2009)
Team competitions
Davis Cup SF (2007)

Robin Bo Carl Söderling (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈrɔbɪn ˈsøːdəɭɪŋ]; born 14 August 1984 in Tibro) is a former professional tennis player from Sweden. He is a former world no. 4 in the ATP rankings, a career high he reached in November 2010. Söderling reached successive French Open finals in 2009 and 2010.[2] He has also won one Masters 1000 event, the 2010 Paris Masters.

Söderling first came to prominence at the 2009 French Open, where he became the first and only player to defeat Rafael Nadal at the tournament until Novak Djokovic in 2015.[3] Nadal had previously never lost at the tournament since his debut in 2005 and was the four-time defending champion. Söderling subsequently advanced to the final, defeating two-time semi-finalist Nikolay Davydenko in the quarter-finals and Fernando González in five sets in the semi-finals before being defeated by Roger Federer in the final.[4] Söderling reached a second successive French Open final in 2010. He defeated Federer in the quarter-finals (ending Federer's record streak of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals). Söderling won the semi-final in five sets against Tomáš Berdych before losing in straight sets to Rafael Nadal in the final.[5]

Following injuries and illness, Söderling has not competed since the 2011 Swedish Open in July 2011, at which time he was ranked number 5 in the world. Alongside attempting to regain fitness, he has become active in tennis administration as a tournament director at the Stockholm Open, and produced his own brand of tennis balls.[6]

On 23 December 2015, Söderling announced his retirement from professional tennis.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Söderling speaks Swedish, English, and a bit of German. His father Bo is a lawyer and mother Britt-Inger, a housewife. Söderling's sister, Sandra, is a teacher.[8] He is married to Jenni Moström.[9][10] The couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Olivia, on 12 October 2012.[11][12]


Söderling began playing tennis at the age of five. He made his first steps in international tennis in November 1998 in Luxembourg when at the age of 14 he played his first official junior tournament, losing the opening match to Fred Hemmes, Jr. In his first full year in the junior tour (2000), he achieved four tournament victories and in 2001 attained three more titles in the juniors including the Orange Bowl. In the same year Söderling achieved fourth place in the year-end ranking and played in his first ATP tournament in Stockholm, winning his first match 6–3, 6–3 against Ramón Delgado.

As a junior Söderling reached as high as No. 2 in the world in 2002 (and No. 11 in doubles).

Junior Slam results:

Australian Open: 3R (2001)
French Open: 3R (2002)
Wimbledon: 2R (2001)
US Open: SF (2002)

Professional career[edit]


Söderling tried to break into the men's circuit in 2002, playing five more ATP tournaments and the second round of the US Open. In the Challenger circuit he achieved a 20-7 record, and he played in the US Open Junior tournament where he reached the final. In 2003 the transition to the main tour was completed as he reached the third round at Wimbledon (coming from the qualifying rounds) and reached an ATP final in Stockholm (losing a decisive tie-break there), earning the year-end ranking of 86. Robin's first ATP title came in 2004 at the Lyon where he beat Belgian Xavier Malisse in the final. He also made the final at Marseille. By the end of the year, Söderling climbed into the world's top 50 in the rankings.


Söderling suffered his first serious injury in 2005, eventually resulting in a knee operation in March. But even though not fit to play many tournaments, he managed to win another title – in Milan (defeating Radek Štěpánek in the final). After a mediocre and injury troubled season from there on, Söderling reached the third round in the US Open before going through another surgery.

Returning in 2006, he bounced back from 100th place in the Indesit ATP rankings to top 50 within three months, even though knee and shoulder injuries still prevented him from playing at his best. He helped the Swedish team with two wins to keep its World Group Davis Cup spot in a play-off in Brazil. During this he earned sufficient ATP points to finish at a career-high place of 25.

In 2007 Söderling made it to the round of 32 at Wimbledon, where he lost to Rafael Nadal in a five-set match. He caused much controversy on the court when he exchanged mocking behaviour with Nadal, tugging on his shorts in the manner Nadal is known for after growing tired of Nadal's slow play at the beginning of the 5th.[13]

Söderling did not make it to an ATP final for the first time in five years in 2007, however he turned out consistent results throughout the year. He missed the last 3 months of the main tour due to a left wrist injury. Söderling missed the Australian Open due to injury. The first tournament he entered in 2008 was the Open 13 Marseille, where he reached the quarterfinals. He then reached the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament (Rotterdam), finishing runner-up to Michaël Llodra in the final, 7–6, 2–6 6–3. The next week he reached another final at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis, U.S. He beat top seed Andy Roddick in the tournament along the way to the final. However he lost another final in two weeks as he finished runner-up to unseeded Steve Darcis, 6–3, 7–6.


At the 2008 World Team Cup in Düsseldorf on clay, he was undefeated in four singles and four doubles matches. He became only the third player in history of that event to accomplish that feat since John McEnroe in 1984 and Fernando González in 2003. Winning all of his matches there, he led the Swedish team to victory.

In late May he reached the 3rd round in the French Open where he lost against home player Julien Benneteau. At Wimbledon, he lost to Roger Federer in the round of 64 in three straight sets. After disappointing results in both the Beijing Olympics and the US Open, Söderling decided to break up with his trainer Peter Carlsson. He took on former Swedish world number 2 Magnus Norman as support until he appointed a new trainer. With the help of Norman, Robin reached his third final of the year in his native Sweden at Stockholm, but lost to David Nalbandian in a tough match (2–6, 7–5, 3–6). Three weeks later Söderling finally clinched a final win for his first title in 3 years, and the second on the particular venue, at the Lyon tournament, defeating Julien Benneteau in three sets (6–3, 6–7, 6–1). On his way to the final he recorded wins over top seed Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals, as well as the French number one Gilles Simon in the semi, both ranked in the top 10 ATP South African Airways ranking. With that, Söderling himself climbed as high as no. 18 in the rankings, a new career best. He finished the year with a career high ranking of no. 17. On 4 November he announced that Magnus Norman would be his trainer starting right after his vacation.


With his new trainer, Söderling started the 2009 ATP World Tour at the 2009 Brisbane International. He lost in the quarterfinals against Radek Štěpánek, who eventually won the tournament. Söderling then participated in the 2009 Heineken Open where he lost in the semifinals against Juan Martín del Potro, again losing to the eventual champion. He was seeded 16th at the 2009 Australian Open and lost to an unseeded Marcos Baghdatis in the second round.

Söderling became the first Swede to reach the French Open final since his coach Magnus Norman in 2000.

He then entered the Indian Wells Masters 1000 event, losing to Nicolás Lapentti 4–6, 6–7(7) in the second round. Despite playing well and winning the challenger Sunrise, Söderling suffered from injuries mixed with poor results for over two months. He finally won consecutive matches for the first time on the ATP tour since the 2009 Australian Open at the Rome Masters, before falling to World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in a controversial match 1–6, 0–6 in the third round.[14][15] Following another third round exit at the Madrid Masters against Roger Federer, Söderling next competed at the ARAG World Team Cup in Düsseldorf, as part of the Swedish contingent. Although Sweden did not win, Söderling defeated Gilles Simon and Rainer Schüttler, the latter 6–0, 6–0.

At the 2009 French Open, Söderling, seeded 23, reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time after defeating Kevin Kim, Denis Istomin, and David Ferrer. This set up a match with four-time defending champion Rafael Nadal.[16] He scored the biggest upset of the year beating Nadal and ending his record 31-match winning streak at Roland Garros.[17] Women's tennis legend Martina Navratilova described the match as one of the greatest upsets in tennis history. His 6–2, 6-7 (2), 6–4, 7-6 (2) victory over the reigning World No. 1 made Söderling the first and, until 2015, only person to beat Nadal at the French Open and in a best of five-set match on clay. Two days later, facing number 10 seed and two-time semifinalist Nikolay Davydenko, Söderling won 6–1, 6–3, 6–1 to reach his maiden major semifinal.[18] Söderling made his first Grand Slam final, beating Fernando González 6–3, 7–5, 5–7, 4–6, 6–4[19][20] after having been down 0–30 and 1–4 in the final set, then reeling off the final five games of the set and match. Söderling lost the final to Federer 1–6, 6–7(1), 4–6; however, his ranking was elevated to 12th in the world, a career high.

Söderling was seeded 13th at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, his next event. He reached the fourth round for the first time in his career, defeating Gilles Müller, Marcel Granollers, and Nicolás Almagro on the way there. Söderling set up another match with Federer, a five-time champion at Wimbledon; though Federer defeated him again, 6–4, 7–6(5), 7–6(5), Söderling was only broken once in the match.[21]

After Wimbledon, Söderling returned to his native country to play at the 2009 Collector Swedish Open. As the number two seed, he received a first round bye. He defeated Kristof Vliegen 6–2, 6–3 in the second round, and won his quarterfinal match against Nicolás Almagro 7–5, 6–3. Söderling reached the final by defeating fellow countryman, Andreas Vinciguerra, 6–1, 7–6(6). There, he beat Juan Mónaco 6–3, 7–6(4) for the title, becoming the first Swede since his coach Magnus Norman (in 2000) to win the singles title at the Swedish Open. This was Söderling's first outdoor title, as well as his first title on a surface other than indoor hardcourt. As a result of his win, Söderling moved up to 11th in the world.

Söderling then participated in the 2009 International German Open but lost in the third round to Nicolás Almagro. This was Söderling's first loss to a player other than Federer since the Rome Masters in late April, where he lost to Rafael Nadal.

Moving over to the U.S hardcourt season, Söderling started at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic but had to pull out in the quarterfinals due to an elbow injury which forced Söderling to withdraw from the 2009 Rogers Cup as well. Returning to the scene at 2009 Cincinnati Masters, he lost in the first round to Lleyton Hewitt.

Söderling was seeded No.12 at the 2009 US Open and advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time at Flushing Meadows after defeating notable opponents such as Albert Montañés, Marcel Granollers, in form American No.22 seed Sam Querrey and No.8 seed Nikolay Davydenko. En route to the quarterfinals, Söderling had a bit of luck on the fact that two of his opponents retired, including the Russian, who retired when Söderling led 7–5, 3–6, 6–2. Söderling went on to face five-time defending champion and No.1 seed Roger Federer for the fourth time this year (three of them in a Grand Slam event). Söderling was defeated by Federer 0–6, 3–6, 7–6(6), 6–7(6). This was the second time in the pair's 12 meetings that Söderling took a set against Federer. In Davis Cup Playoffs, he helped in achieving a 3–2 win over Romania and a chance for Sweden to compete in the 2010 Davis Cup by clinching a 7–5, 6–1, 6–0 victory over world #28 Victor Hănescu.

After US Open, he reached the semifinals in both 2009 Malaysian Open and 2009 China Open before the Shanghai Masters where he officially made it into the top 10 for the first time, notably beating fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6–3, 6–3. However, he was upset in the quarterfinals by Feliciano López 6–7(4), 3–6. Söderling was the No. 1 seed at the Stockholm Open but due to an elbow injury had to retire in the semifinals. Though not a serious injury, Söderling retired from the 2009 Valencia Open 500 tournament as well. At the moment no.9 on the ATP Race, Söderling needed a big performance in 2009 BNP Paribas Masters to reach the ATP World Tour Finals.[22] He started strong against Ivo Karlović, winning in straight sets, 6–4, 7–6(6), and beat sixth seed Davydenko in the third round, 6–3, 3–6, 6–4. Söderling lost his chance of qualifying to the ATP World Tour Finals, however, when No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic was too strong in the quarterfinals and won in three sets, 6–4, 1–6, 6–3.

However, Söderling qualified as first reserve for the finals when American Andy Roddick withdrew due to an injury sustained in Shanghai. Söderling was drawn into a group comprising Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko. He made an impressive start, beating Nadal in his first round robin match 6–4 6–4. He followed that up with a 7–6(5) 6–1 win over Djokovic. He was then assured a place in the semi finals of this year-end championships. However, he lost to Nikolay Davydenko 6–7(4) 6–4 3–6 in his third and final round robin match. Despite this, he became the winner of his group (group B), and set up a semifinal clash with US Open champion Juan Martín del Potro who defeated him 6–7(1), 6–3, 7–6(3). Söderling finished the year ranked No. 8, a career best.


Söderling at the 2010 French Open

2010 proved to be Söderling's most successful year to date. He reached no. 4 in the world (career best) and finished the year as a top 5 player. He repeated last years success at Roland Garros by reaching a second successive final and winning his first Masters 1000 crown.

Söderling made his 2010 debut at the Capitala World Tennis Championship, an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi. He started in the quarterfinals, defeating Stanislas Wawrinka, 7–6(4), 7–6(2). Söderling then came back from a set and break down to defeat Roger Federer 6–7(6), 7–6(1), 6–2. Although generally reported in the media as being the first time Söderling had defeated Federer in 13 attempts, as an exhibition it remains an unofficial match that does not count on record. Söderling faced Rafael Nadal in the final, but was defeated 6–7(3), 5–7.[23]

Söderling then headed to Chennai, India to participate in the 2010 Aircel Chennai Open where he was the first seed but lost in the first round to American Robby Ginepri.

Robin Söderling was seeded eighth but lost in the first round of the 2010 Australian Open to unseeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers 7–5, 6–2, 4–6, 4–6, 2–6.[24]

Söderling received a wildcard to the 2010 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament and was seeded third. He won his first ATP match of the year defeating Florent Serra 4–6, 6–4, 6–1 in the first round and went on to win the tournament, when, leading 6–4, 2–0 against Mikhail Youzhny, Youzhny retired with a hamstring injury, becoming Söderling's biggest tournament win (in terms of point size) until he won the Paris Masters later the same year.[25]

Söderling was the first seed at the 2010 Open 13 in Marseille but lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Michaël Llodra 6–7(2), 4–6. He won both his singles ties against Argentina in 2010 Davis Cup, though Sweden lost eventually 3–2. Söderling was seeded sixth at the 2010 BNP Paribas Open, losing in the semifinals to seventh seed Andy Roddick after a three-set match, 4–6, 6–3, 3–6.[26] Seeded fifth in the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open, Söderling was once again eliminated in the semifinals, this time by Tomáš Berdych 2–6, 2–6.[27]

After good results in the U.S, Robin returned to Europe for the clay court season but had to pull out of 2010 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters due to an overstrained knee.[28] His clay court season got under way at the 2010 Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell where he reached the final after impressive victories over the likes of Juan Ignacio Chela, Feliciano López, Eduardo Schwank and Thiemo de Bakker. He fell to fifth seed Fernando Verdasco in three sets.[29]

Söderling had a dip in form after poor results in both 2010 Internazionali BNL d'Italia and 2010 Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open winning just one match against Paolo Lorenzi in Rome. His final tournament before Roland Garros was 2010 Open de Nice Côte d'Azur where he was the first seed. There, after receiving bye in the first round, he fell in the second round as Olivier Rochus upset the Swede 6–2, 4–6, 4–6.

Söderling was seeded 5th at the 2010 French Open where he defeated Federer for the first time in his career in a tour-level match. Söderling's victory snapped Federer's streak of 23 consecutive semifinal appearances in Grand Slam tournaments and marked the second consecutive year that Söderling defeated the defending French Open champion. In the semifinals, he defeated the number 15 seed Tomáš Berdych 6–3, 3–6, 5–7, 6–3, 6–3 to reach his second consecutive French Open final.[30][31] By this win, Söderling guaranteed himself a career-high ranking of 6. Söderling faced Rafael Nadal in the final and could not stop the Spaniard as he fell 4–6, 2–6, 4–6.[32]

After another successful run at Roland Garros, Söderling entered the 2010 Wimbledon Championships as the sixth seed where he lost, in the quarterfinals, to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 6–3, 3–6, 6–7(4), 1–6.[33] Despite the loss, he guaranteed himself a career-high world number 5 ranking for the first time.

Returning to his native country for the first time since the Davis Cup tie in March, Söderling was seeded top at the 2010 Swedish Open; a tournament that he won the previous year. He lost in the final against Nicolás Almagro in the final, 5–7, 6–3, 2–6.[34]

After a three-week hiatus from competition, Söderling started off his U.S hardcourt season with the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event 2010 Rogers Cup where he was seeded fifth, but was defeated by Argentine David Nalbandian 6–4, 4–6, 1–6 in the third round.[35]

At the 2010 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, Söderling was again the fifth seed and received a bye into the second round where he defeated Lleyton Hewitt 4–6, 6–3, 7–5. He lost in the third round to Andy Roddick.

Entering the final Grand Slam event of the year, Söderling was seeded 5th at the 2010 US Open. He defeated qualifier Andreas Haider-Maurer in a tough five set opening round. In the second round, Söderling beat Taylor Dent with ease 6–2, 6–2, 6–4.[36] He then played Thiemo de Bakker in the third round, and won comfortably in straight sets 6–2, 6–3, 6–3. He came through Albert Montañés in four sets to set up a quarterfinal showdown with Roger Federer, but could not stop the Swiss maestro as he lost 4–6, 4–6, 5–7 in tough conditions.[37] He then went back to Sweden to compete in the 2010 Davis Cup, where Sweden retained their World Group status as they outmatched Italy.

Traveling to Asia for the Asian swing, Söderling had three quarterfinal showings. First at the 2010 Proton Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur, and then at the 2010 China Open in Beijing. He competed in Shanghai for the 2010 Shanghai Rolex Masters 1000, where he maintained his consistency, beating Janko Tipsarević 6–3, 7–6(5), and David Ferrer 7–5, 6–4. He lost to Federer in the quarterfinals 1–6, 1–6.

Back in Stockholm, competing at the 2010 If Stockholm Open, he reached the quarterfinals after bowing out to eventual runner up Florian Mayer. Though a disappointing week for the Swede, he ensured his place in the ATP World Tour Finals as he became the 5th player to qualify.[38]

After a semifinal spot in Valencia, Söderling traveled to Paris to compete at the 2010 BNP Paribas Masters. Receiving a bye to the 2nd round, Söderling defeated Gilles Simon 6–4, 6–0. Up next was Stanislas Wawrinka, 7–6(3), 6–3. In the quarterfinals, Söderling won over Andy Roddick, also in straight sets 7–5, 6–4.[39] Söderling then saved three match points in beating Michaël Llodra to reach his first Masters 1000 final, and won the championship by defeating Gaël Monfils (who had also saved match points in his semi-final against Roger Federer) in the final 6–1, 7–6(1). He became the first Swedish player to win Paris since Thomas Enqvist in 1996, and the first Swedish winner of a Masters 1000 since Enqvist won Cincinnati in 2000. With the win, he ensured a career high ranking of No.4 by overtaking Andy Murray.[40]

Söderling's final tournament of the year was at the 2010 ATP World Tour Finals where he failed to progress through the group stage, winning one match against David Ferrer and losing to Andy Murray and Roger Federer.[41] He finished the year as world no.5, a career best.

Söderling and coach Magnus Norman decided on 1 December 2010 that they will not continue their collaboration.[42] Robin Söderling announced in early December 2010 that his new coach was to be Claudio Pistolesi.[43]


He started 2011 with a new coach Claudio Pistolesi at his side, he finished third at the exhibition in Abu Dhabi. Söderling's first ATP World Tour tournament of the year was Brisbane International where he defeated Ryan Harrison, Michael Berrer, Matthew Ebden and Radek Štěpánek en route to the final. Söderling went on to win the tournament without dropping a set and only broken once, winning against Andy Roddick 6–3, 7–5 in the final. This elevated his ranking to No. 4 in the world, improving his seeding for the Australian Open.[44]

Söderling reached the fourth round at the 2011 Australian Open, a career best. As the fourth seed, he made his way to that without dropping a set, before being defeated in five sets by the unseeded Alexandr Dolgopolov.[45]

Returning to Europe, he competed at the 2011 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. As the first seed and defending champion, he successfully defended his title by defeating Robin Haase 6–3, 6–2, Philipp Kohlschreiber 6–3, 5–7, 7–6(7), Mikhail Youzhny 6–4, 7–6(5), Viktor Troicki 7–5, 6–4 and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final 6–3, 3–6, 6–3. This was Söderling's second title of the year and eighth of his career. This also marked the first time he defended a title.[46]

After success in Rotterdam, he traveled to Marseille for the 2011 Open 13. As the first seed, he defeated Nicolas Mahut, Michaël Llodra and Dmitry Tursunov en route to a second final in two weeks. There he faced Marin Čilić and after losing the first set, he came back, eventually winning 6–7(8), 6–3, 6–3. This was Söderling's third title of the year and ninth of his career.[47]

After helping Sweden win the Davis Cup tie against Russia, Söderling had a dip in form spanning from early March to the beginning of May, only getting past the third round once in four events. Due to the lack of form, Söderling opted to split with his coach Claudio Pistolesi, only five months in on the partnership.[48][49] Days later, Fredrik Rosengren was appointed new coach of Söderling.[50]

At the 2011 Mutua Madrid Open, Soderling saw off Santiago Giraldo and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to set up a quarterfinal matchup with Roger Federer which he lost 7–6(2) 6–4.

In the first round of the 2011 Rome Masters, Soderling survived a scare as he saved 3 match points en route to defeating Fernando Verdasco 2–6 7–5 6–4.[51] After winning 6–3, 3–6, 6–4 against Nicolás Almagro,[52] he faced Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals which he lost 6–3, 6–0.

At the 2011 French Open, Soderling (seeded fifth) beat Ryan Harrison in the first round 6–1, 6–7 (5–7), 6–3, 7–5. Harrison was up 5–4 in the fourth set, within one game of forcing a fifth and deciding set, but ceded the final three games, the fourth set, and ultimately the match to Söderling. Söderling then plowed through Albert Ramos, Leonardo Mayer and Gilles Simon without losing a set to land himself a quarterfinal showdown with world no 1 Rafael Nadal. Söderling's hopes of repeating his 2009 upset of the Spaniard proved futile, as he was swept off the court in straight sets.

At the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, Söderling (seeded fifth) defeated Philipp Petzschner of Germany in the first round, coming up against one-time Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt in the second. Hewitt won the first two sets (7–6, 6–3), but Söderling fought back, snatched a couple of well-timed service breaks, ultimately going through to the third round after winning the last three sets 7–5, 6–4, 6–4. In the third round, however, Robin Söderling, troubled by a bad stomach, lost to Bernard Tomic of Australia 1–6, 4–6, 5–7.

After Wimbledon, Söderling announced that he would not take part in Sweden's Davis Cup fixture against reigning champions Serbia, preparing instead for the 2011 Swedish Open. He did not drop a single set in the entire tournament. He defeated world no. 8 Tomáš Berdych in the semifinal (6–1, 6–0) and David Ferrer in the final (6–2, 6–2) for his fourth title of the year.

Due to a wrist injury, Söderling was forced to withdraw from the back-to-back hard court Masters tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati. He was also diagnosed with mononucleosis, an illness that forced him to withdraw from the U.S. Open at the last minute. He had been slated to play Louk Sorensen of Ireland in the first round.[53] With the illness continuing to hamper his progress, he decided to take yet more time out, withdrawing for the rest of the season and including the 2012 Australian Open.[54]

Söderling only managed to play 14 tournaments in 2011 and finished the year with a 38-9 W-L record, four titles and ranked no. 13 in the world.


Due to his ongoing recovery from illness, Söderling announced that he would miss the start of the 2012 season, including the 2012 Australian Open, and the 2012 French Open.[55] He remained absent for the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the first Masters tournament of the year.[56] He later confirmed that he would be absent until at least after the 2012 Olympic Games and in July 2012, he dropped out of the ATP Rankings due to having not competed for 12 months.[57]

Söderling announced no timetable of returning due to slow recovery of his illness.[58][59] In September 2013 he launched a new range of tennis balls under the brand 'RS-Tennis',[60] while in 2014 he became the tournament director of the Stockholm Open.[6]

On 23 December 2015, Söderling announced his retirement from professional tennis, after 4 years without playing a single official match due to a mononucleosis.[61]

Playing style and equipment[edit]

Söderling is known for his competitive drive and powerful game, hitting accurate hard ground strokes. His serve is heavy and it can reach speeds of over 225 km/h (140 mph);[62] although it can sometimes lack precision, leading him to struggle against strong returners like Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. He can overpower most of his opponents and possesses a very good return game.[63] His two-handed backhand is solid and dependable, while the forehand is regarded as one of the most lethal in today's game.[64] Most of his success has come on faster surfaces (hard courts and indoor carpet), although his best Grand Slam results have occurred at the French Open; this is thought to be due to the heavy conditions and slowness of the clay which allow him more time to set up his powerful shots.[65] Many people have praised Söderling for his game, saying he is a Grand Slam contender and stable top tenner,[66] though his mental strength and lack of consistency in his game have been his weaknesses.[67] But in recent years, his mental strength has improved considerably and this has raised the consistency of his game; much of this has been attributed to the influence of his previous coach, former world #2 and 2000 French Open finalist Magnus Norman.[64] Söderling wears Lotto clothing and recently switched from the Head YOUTEK Radical Midplus (paint job) racquet to the Head Youtek IG Prestige Midplus.[9][68][69]

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Slam tournament performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A Q2 2R 1R A 1R A 2R 1R 4R 0 / 6 5–6 45.45
French Open A Q1 1R 2R 1R 1R 3R F F QF 0 / 8 19–8 70.37
Wimbledon A 3R 1R 1R 1R 3R 2R 4R QF 3R 0 / 9 14–9 60.00
US Open 2R 1R 2R 3R 2R A 1R QF QF A 0 / 8 13–8 60.00
Win–Loss 1–1 2–2 2–4 3–4 1–3 2–3 3–3 14–4 14–4 9–3 0 / 31 51–31 62.03

Finals: 2 (0 titles, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 2009 French Open Clay Switzerland Roger Federer 1–6, 6–7(1–7), 4–6
Runner-up 2010 French Open (2) Clay Spain Rafael Nadal 4–6, 2–6, 4–6


  1. ^ "About « Robin Söderling – Official Website of Swedish Tennis player Robin Söderling". Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  2. ^ "Greatest Upsets in Sports History" Retrieved on 5 June 2009
  3. ^ Nadal toppled from French throne - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
  4. ^ Federer proves he's the greatest - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Spain Rafael Nadal
Golden Bagel Award
Succeeded by
Serbia Novak Djokovic