Robin Soderling and the 2012 French Open: What's the Low-Down?
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Robin Soderling is currently ranked 56th in the world. However, that is a ranking that promises to sink fast if the Swede does not overcome his battle with mono in the near future.
Soderling, a quality player on tour who peaked as the World No. 4 in 2010, has not contested a tour-level match since ATP Bastad last July. In that tournament Soderling looked devastating and he destroyed both Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer in the late rounds of the event by a combined 24 games won to just five lost.
Soderling's illness has definitely diluted the talent on tour and he appears incredibly unlikely to make an appearance in the 2012 French Open. Presently there is no official announcement as to whether he will play at Roland Garros, but in my opinion it certainly does not look good.
His homepage does not address the issue, a recent article on Tennis-X.com has questioned if his 2012 season is over, and many reputable sportsbooks (ie. bet365) are not offering betting lines on the Swedish star in the futures market for the upcoming clay-court Slam. As a counterpoint, some sportsbooks are offering lines, which means that some haven't closed the book on his clay court season. At least not yet.
According to the article at Tennis-X.com, Soderling will be holding a press conference on Monday, May 21 to address the media. He will undoubtedly face questions about his future. Perhaps fans of the two-time French Open finalist, the only player to date to beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, will then know what to expect from the Swede.
Personally I would be shocked to see Soderling in the French Open draw and—even if he was in the draw—I would be floored to see him make it to the Round of 16.
By the end of June 2012, Soderling, should he remain idle, will only have 250 ranking points to his credit, the ranking points he received for dismissing the competition in Bastad last year. For those that aren't aware with what that implies, 250 ranking points should be good for a ranking of about 200th on tour.
By the end of July 2012 Soderling will not have any ranking points to his credit if he does not return to the tour. While he does promise to be an impact player upon his healthy return, Soderling will be 28 years old this summer.
That could still leave him a few good years on tour but you have to wonder if the battle with mono may have cost him some of the best tennis of his career as he looked poised to challenge for tour titles prior to his illness.
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