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Soderling : « Lorsque vous tombez malade, vous commencez à réaliser que votre santé est la chose la plus importante »

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Le compte Instagram Behind The Racquet nous régale en ce moment d’au­tant que les cham­pions sont plutôt dispo­nibles. Dernièrement, c’est Robin Soderling qui s’est exprimé sur la mono­nu­cléose qui l’a contraint d’ar­rêter sa carrière. Un arrêt qui n’est toujours pas compris par l’en­semble de la commu­nauté du tennis. Son témoi­gnage est donc d’au­tant plus instructif. Nous avons sélec­tionné le passage qui nous semple le plus inté­res­sant sur ce sujet : « Lorsque vous tombez vrai­ment malade, vous commencez à réaliser que votre santé est la plus impor­tante. C’est fou parce que durant ma carrière, le tennis était la seule chose dont je me souciais. À ce stade, je ne voulais que m’amé­liorer, c’était simple. Après un certain temps, je regar­dais le tennis à la télé­vi­sion en voyant des joueurs contre lesquels je jouais. Je souhai­tais juste être à nouveau sur le terrain, en compé­ti­tion. C’était menta­le­ment diffi­cile. Ma première année, je n’ai fait aucune acti­vité physique parce que je ne voulais rien aggraver. Il m’a fallu environ cinq ans pour revenir à un point où je pouvais m’en­traîner comme je le voulais. A cette époque, j’avais l’im­pres­sion que la période de retour au tennis était trop longue. Je n’avais pas non plus l’énergie pour le faire. Je ne blâme pas spéci­fi­que­ment ce que j’ai fait. Être un athlète de haut niveau dans n’im­porte quel sport n’est pas facile. Il y a eu des moments de ma carrière où j’au­rais souhaité pouvoir prendre du recul ou ne pas le prendre aussi au sérieux. »

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#LegendaryBTR‐ “I tried to make a come­back, from mono, three sepa­rate years, which all failed. This all grew on me and took a major toll on my mind. I accepted that maybe I could never come back. When I made the deci­sion to finally stop it was hard but also a bit of a relief. I didn’t have to fight to come back and live in this uncer­tainty. After making the deci­sion I could finally accept it and figure out how to live my life again. It was a weird feeling during my first six months after my career because I didn’t care about tennis, it was a nice break. I almost didn’t care if I were to come back. When you get really sick you start to realize your health is most impor­tant. It’s crazy because during my career tennis was the only thing I cared about. At this point I only cared about getting better, it was simple. After some time I was watching tennis on TV seeing players I was playing against. I was wishing to just be on the court again, compe­ting. It was mentally tough. My first year out I didn’t do any physical acti­vity because I didn’t want to aggra­vate anything. It has taken about five years for me to get back to a point where I could train however I wanted. At this time I felt like it has been too long a period for me to return to tennis. I didn’t have the energy to do so either. I don’t blame it speci­fi­cally on anything I did. Being a top athlete in any sport is not easy. There are times where I blame myself. There were moments in my career where I wish I would have been able to take a step back or not take it as seriously. I was living in this bubble where every­thing was tennis. As the years went on, and as I became better, I took away more and more of the things I enjoyed to do. I thought this is what I needed to do to be the best I could be. It was all worth it if I won my matches and ranking improved, but if I didn’t it felt as if every­thing was f**ked. I see it now as just a sport. My biggest issue was not having that on and off switch. Tennis doesn’t make it easy to ‘turn it off’ and you have to find ways during the season to take care of your­self and just rest.” @rsoderling Go to behindtheracquet.com for extended stories, podcasts and merch.

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