Swedish star officially retires from tennis

Swedish star officially retires from tennis
Swedish tennis player Robin Söderling. Photo: Robin Halldert/TT
Sweden's Robin Söderling has announced he is hanging up his tennis racket, more than four years since his last match.

“I have realized that I will not be fit enough to play tennis at the level I demand of myself,” said Söderling, 31, to the Swedish news agency TT.

Söderling fell ill with glandular fever in the summer of 2011, but he did not realize the seriousness of his sickness and continued to train, although he struggled physically.

He described his condition as “overtraining syndrome” and said in a press release that “with this disease it has been impossible for me to train 100 percent”.

Söderling reached the final of the French Open in both 2009 and 2010, before rising to a career-high fourth in the world rankings in late 2010.

His greatest moment was perhaps inflicting on clay court king Rafael Nadal his first ever defeat at the French Open in 2009.

In fact, until the Spaniard lost to world number one Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros quarter-finals earlier this year, that remained his only defeat on the Parisian clay in 71 matches.

“Although my career as a tennis player is over I still have a bright future ahead of me and my schedule for the next few years is full,” said Söderling, who won 10 titles in his career.