It’s been almost a decade for Rafael Nadal’s first loss on the ‘terre battue’ of Paris and the Swede, Robin Soderling till date reminisces the biggest victory of his career. The French Open 2009, fourth round flabbergasted the spectators at Court Philippe Cartier and the tennis followers globally, as the ‘King of Clay’ conceded the end of his 31-match winning streak at Roland Garros. Soderling recalls his thoughts and the sensations going through him during the tournament. “Without any doubt, it was one of my most special days in life”, said Soderling. “I remember that I was very focused before that match. Everyone knew that I would win, that I was the only one who needed to believe that I could win and it made myself visualise as the favourite in the previous days”.
Soderling made it to the finals at the French Open 2010, but however, Nadal took his revenge. He believes that Roger Federer’s Career Slam glory is all because of him. Federer has a score of major titles but his Roland Garros crown would have been awaited till now if Soderling wouldn’t have defeated Nadal in the pre-quarters of the clay-court major in 2009.
The Swede retired from professional tennis at the age of 26 due to his prolonged illness of contracting infectious mononucleosis (an illness related to glandular fever). “I fought for many years, but as soon as I started feeling better and I made a physical effort again, all the symptoms came back”, Soderling opened up his emotions to stay out from tennis.“To be honest, I had to rest for many years, and I still have to be careful about not stressing myself out. Now I can read my body and the signals that it sends me in order to avoid that it happens again”.
Once Soderling was asked, which was the best tennis ball that he ever used, failing to respond that question he decided to develop his own ball. He is the first tennis player to produce tennis balls and strings. In 2013, Soderling established his own brand of tennis gears, named as RS and he looks forward to rolling out his business worldwide. “I hope to launch my RS tennis brand in Colombia and I would love to be there for the launch. I am the first professional player that started producing tennis balls and strings. The strings and balls are available in more than 50 countries and we got great comments on strings and balls. We played six ATP tournaments with the ball and the company went growing in a very fast way. I am open to any invitation”, Soderling confessed.