This Interview by fellow Swede Sofia Arvidsson is too good not to be translated for non-Swedish fans. Bare with me for using google translate and making some smaller corrections. Here we go:
. Robin Soderling, 26, looking uneasily at the girl with the voice recorder.
- No annoying questions now.
It is no ordinary reporter, but tennis buddy Sofia Arvidsson, who sits beside him in the players lounge at Roland Garros.
They got to know each other as eleven-year-olds and have been hanging around ever since.
She, for one, knows the Swedish world number five - and it shows.
Here is the interview Robin Söderling will never forget..
I sit here with Robin Soderling.
- How exciting!
First question: If you could switch lives with a sports personality for one week, who would you choose and why?
- Then I would choose someone who plays in a football or hockey team, who does not need to think about anything, just traveling to matches with a toothbrush. Everything is fixed, so he does not need to care about anything other than the sport.
Has the response you get at the events changed a lot since you became a top 10 player?
- Mmmm. It has.
In what way?
- Everybody is so damn ugly now. Ha, ha, ha. Nah, I'm just kidding. It is the opposite.
They are all sucking up?
- Yes, the tournament directors are sucking up like crazy all the time, especially in the smaller tournaments. And then it is never a problem to book courts, ask for additional "badges" ... Such small things are never a problem, but it was always in the past.
Like for me, you mean? For those of us who are left in the backyard.
- I know nothing about that. Is that so? Ah, you are also up here soon.
Your girlfriend Jenni is very interested in fashion. Do you ask her what to wear?
- Yes - and then I always do the opposite. Ha, ha, ha.
If you have to choose, would you invite Rafael Nadal to dinner or dancing a waltz with Nicolas Almagro?
- Then I would invite Nadal to dinner seven days a week. It's nice that even he can get food for the day. I do not think he can afford to pay for dinner itself.
Then maybe there would be some bullshit...
Between you two, as well.
- No, we are buddies.
All right. Who among all the players don't you wanna play?
- Hyung-Taik Lee. It's so damn nice that he has retired. Do you remember him, a Korean?
- I played him three times and it was totally impossible.
You got to travel a lot with me during juniors. Can you state another reason why you have become so good?
- That I was grumpy and never gave up. I fought all the time, even when it was tough and did not feel good.
Have you ever wanted to do something but thought "No, this I can not do, because I am Robin Soderling"?
- No, I think I do all the things I want to do.
In other words, you behave?
- I didn't say that, but I do what I want anyway. Ha, ha, ha.
Answering the next question, you need to be nice. Which of the male players do you think I would fit well with?
Tell me someone good-looking, Robin.
- Who is good looking, then? I think you believe...
No, tell me who you think I fit well with.
- Julien Benneteau.
- Yes, I have heard that he is in love with you.
I think not.
- He is, isn't he? A little. Haven't you heard?
I must have missed it. What do you do to relax from tennis?
- It depends where I am. At an event, there's not much to do. At home I like to fish.
In a boat, then?
- Yeah, whatever. Then, when we are on vacation, I like to dive. It's really fun. If I am in Sweden I go to like football or hockey, but that is not so often.
I was on your and Jonas Björkman's hotel room in Beijing. Your clothes hung almost in alphabetical order and you wrap your racquet very carefully. Are you Careless with something?
- Yes, I am unfortunately a bit bad with times. I'm an time optimist and everything takes so much longer than I think it'll do.
Once, at Heathrow, you and I went on board the wrong plane...
- It was your fault. It was only your fault.
The question was: Do you still think it is my fault?
- It is clear that it was your fault. You ran away... "Won't the plane fly soon?"
It stated "Boarding Gothenburg" on the table.
- Yes, but it was the wrong flight.
A lady was sitting at your place...
- Yes, I remember. "Move, you're sitting at the wrong place!" It was not very well done, Sofia.
Which is your toughest loss?
- The final in Bastad last year.
If we played mixed, we would probably shoot the balls at each other. Who would it be if you could choose to play with someone else?
- Damn, I'm thinking if I would even consider playing mixed at some point.
Come on. You have promised to play with me in the Olympics.
- Do I have to choose someone else? I just want to play with you.
It could be someone you just think is good-looking.
- I would rather choose someone who I think I would play well with.
Then say who it is!
- Sure, but then it won't be anyone good-looking. All the good ones are looking bad. Wait, I have to think... Who the hell might be good in doubles? I think... Eh, who's that girl grunting so much?
- Yes, Azarenka. She is good in doubles, huh?
Yes, she's okay.
- Then I would take her.
What do you think is the very hardest about being a tennis player?
- Traveling is damn hard sometimes. Wait for the airplane, waiting for luggage, transport... It would have been nice to play in the same place all the time.
What are you doing in ten years?
- Playing on the veteran tour.
In Anders Järryd's foot steps...
- Ha, ha, ha. He has been a full time professional for 35 years now. No, I will not play on the veteran tour, but hopefully I'm working with something associated to tennis because I think it is so fun. Not as a coach, but maybe with some event.
What is your biggest dream?
- In tennis, do you mean?
It can be anything...
- To win a Grand Slam.
If you got five million, would you play the first round at Wimbledon in a dress?
No, Swedish kronor. Come on now, so money blind you can not have become. Of course you would.
- No, I would probably not actually.
Five million, Robin!
- No, I would not. Would you?
- In a dress? Ha, ha, ha. Would you play naked for 50 million, then?
No, I do not think so. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- I'd probably choose something that you felt good eating - or would you eat candy for the rest of your life?
What you think taste good.
- Then I would choose "Flying Jacob". (Swedish dish with chicken and banana
Mmm, that's yummy. Last question: What, besides winning, makes you really happy?
- When my family and close ones are happy. That makes me happy too. That's more fun than being happy myself, I think.
When we thank Robin Soderling for a nice interview.