Swedish Former Tennis Player Robin Soderling was one of the big names in tennis during 2009-10. He reached 2 Grand Slams finals and was the first player to beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open. Sadly, he retired very early after contracting mononucleosis but that was not the only health issue he had.
“I had constant anxiety, it gnawed at me inside. I sat in the apartment and stared blankly, the smallest noise made me panic. When a letter fell on the doormat, I panicked so much that it fell to the floor. The phone rang I was shaking with fear.”
The Swede said that these problems came after his win over Rafael Nadal in 2009. He felt that the expectations were very high as he said, “There were only three players I could lose to, The rest I had to beat them if I would feel bad, a failure, a loser.”
Later in the interview, he talked about mental health issues that started shortly after the 2011 Swedish Open when he had not decided whether to retire. He said,
“I panicked, I started crying, I was crying and crying. I went back to the hotel and threw myself on the bed, every time I thought about going on the court, I panicked. For the first time I felt that regardless of how much I wanted, I couldn’t, not even if they put a gun to my temple.”
Robin Soderling feels that even today, it is very uncommon for an athlete to open up on their mental health issues which is why he came forward. He went on to send a message to all athletes as he said,
“To those who dedicate themselves to sport and their entire environment, I tell them to train hard and take it very easy. From here I tell them to play sports because they feel comfortable doing it and not because of pressure.”
Everyone would be happy to see that Robin overcame his mental health issues and hopefully, he never has to go through those issues again.