Robin Soderling to Split with Coach Magnus Norman

Stephen KellyContributor INovember 25, 2010

Soderling (l) and Norman
Soderling (l) and NormanPaul Morigi/Getty Images

World No. 4 Robin Soderling has split with coach Magnus Norman, according to unconfirmed reports from Sweden.

Soderling was eliminated from the World Tour Finals after losing two of his three Group A matches in London, and will enter the off season in search of a new trainer.

According to Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, Norman is no longer interested in touring, and will focus his energies on a new international tennis academy that will be established in Sweden next year.

The highly successful relationship between Soderling and Norman began in November 2008 after the player split with long-term mentor Peter Carlsson.

Soderling was ranked No. 17 at the time but progressed rapidly under Norman and cracked the top 10 after Roland Garros in 2009, where he beat Rafael Nadal on his way to a final defeat against Roger Federer.

It was a major breakthrough for a player who before then had never been beyond the third round of a Grand Slam event, and Soderling has since established himself as one of the elite players in the game.

Despite their success together, the personal relationship between Norman and Soderling was always tense, which has reportedly contributed to the break-up.

Candidates to replace Norman include fellow Swedes Thomas Hogstedt, who currently works with Tommy Haas, and Fredrik Rosengren, the man who helped Mario Ancic reach the top 10 in 2006.

Another contender is former World No. 4 Thomas Enqvist, who knows Soderling well from his current role as Swedish Davis Cup captain.

However, given that Soderling speaks fluent English and resides in Monte Carlo for tax reasons, Norman's replacement will not necessarily be another Swede.

With few points to defend early in 2011 due to his first round exit in the Australian Open this year, Soderling could potentially crack the world’s top two in the coming months and will therefore need to have the right man in place as quickly as possible.

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