Söderling will not make it back to the world elite
Björn Borg is skeptic about the swedish tennis stars future: "How much is he prepared to give when he comes back?"
Robin Söderling has not played a Grand Slam tournament since Wimbledon last year. Now Björn Borg is doubting Robin's chances to play himself back to the absolute top.
- That he comes back to the shape and consistency he had before I don't think it will happen, says the tennis legend to Sportbladet.
US Open begins on monday, but just like the four previous Grand Slam-torunaments there is no swedish player in men's singles.
Robin Söderling is still in uncertain struggle with mono and has not played a match since July 17th last year, when he demolished David Ferrer in the Swedish Open-final in Båstad.
The situation doesn't only worry the 28-year old from Tibro, but also the greatest in swedish tennis. Behind Söderling there is nothing, then nothing, then nothing and then anonymous players like Patrik Rosenholm, Michael Ryderstedt, Christian Lindell and Carl Bergman.
- Me and everyone else that loves tennis hope that Robin gets the chance to come back. We all wait for the day when he can play matches again. Robin is needed for swedish tennis, says Björn Borg.
Maximum bad luck
Sportbladet met the former world number one at a hotell in central Stockholm.
Robin Söderling was ranked number 4 at best. He reached two consecutive finals in French Open and won 10 ATP-titles before the sickness forced him away from tennis.
-He's had maximum bad luck, says the 56-year old Björn Borg, who doubts that Söderling can find his former self.
-I think he will have huge problems to get back to the absolute topp. If he becomes fully healthy he can still win big tournaments, but to win a Grand Slam title, to be number one an to be in the absolute top I think will be very hard.
That Björn Borg is skeptic is not only due to Robin Söderling being without match practice and dropping some of the physisque he'd built since childhood.
-The mental aspect is another important thing. Robin has not played tennis for a long time and is becoming a father soon. He's dropped the 100% focus, because there is a life outside tennis. To then throw yourself into the tough training and focus on tennis to 100%....How much is he willing to give when he comes back? I don't know how he thinks.
Do you have any contact with Robin?
-No, but I've seen him occasionaly. I know he feels better, but not good enough.
Do you know what ranking Swedens highest ranked player, Patrik Rosenholm, has on the ATP-ranking?
-I'd guess around 300.
377. That number most associate with text-tv, not swedish tennis,
-Exactly, haha. We can only hope it turns and we all know what Björkman, Johansson, Norman, Kulti and Tillström does....Everyone tries. There is organization, will and knowledge, but it takes five to seven years before we can see new names from Sweden. We simply need patience.
Are you tempted to commit to any project?
-No, there is many skilled in the younger generation that are already involved, that has knowledge and knows tennis. They are making an awesome job, says Björn Borg.