In Båstad 2011, Robin Söderling dominated the Swedish Open. He crushed all resistance and ran over world sex David Ferrer in the final.
- I leveled everything with the ground, myself as well, Robin Söderling says in the program.
The win was his last professional match. He describes how shortly after, on his way home to Monte Carlo, he falls into a "bottomless black abyss without oxygen".
- A few hours earlier I have performed the best tennis of my life, in addition at home. But it was apparently just a death tug.Increased pressure
Tennis had been his whole life, but in 2009, when he was at the peak of his career, an unknown anxiety had begun to creep in. With the success the press increased, Robin Söderling says in "Summer".
- There were only three players that it was hardly okay to lose against. The rest I would just hit. Otherwise it was bad, then you were unsuccessful, a loser.
In the end, it became too much. The brain ran out of body, and in 2011 the doctor found that he had got glandular fever. That was what eventually made it stop.
- My immune system was so drained that the body had quit when I got glandular fever.Six and a half years
After the 2011 break, he never returned to the professional tennis. In 2015, he announced that his career was over, at the age of 31. He had realized then that a proper step away from tennis needed to be healthy. It took six and a half years to be mentally restored, says Robin Söderling.
But the road there was difficult.
- At one point, when I was more sensible than normal, I discovered in my search history that I had been trying different approaches to suicide. I don't even remember thinking, but apparently I had been there and turned around. I had never wanted to die, but everything was better than this life, which was a rampant journey down into an endless, burning inferno.
Now he has "caught up with the times" and learned something that is not just about tennis. Understand that there is also something else in life.
- We rarely hear about the mental ill-health of the extreme world elite. That's why I wanted to tell you today. All of you who bring you into the sport, and your parents, drive hard and take it easy. Sports and dream happy. If you succeed - keep your perspective. And get yourself a life, as I have done only now.