• ATP Tour

Defending champion Soderling out of Paris Masters

ESPN staff
October 20, 2011
Robin Soderling has not played since July © Getty Images

Robin Soderling's chances of qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals have vanished after the Swede pulled out of next month's Paris Masters.

The world No. 6 has not played since winning in Bastad in July after struggling with the viral infection mononucleosis and will not defend his title in Paris next month.

Soderling had hoped to have recovered in time to play in his home event in Stockholm this week, but was forced to withdraw as he was still struggling with the effects of the virus. And he has been forced to push back his return date once again.

"I have to think long term and plan to play tennis for years to come," Soderling said after pulling out of the Stockholm Open. "I believe the best days are in front of me. I will do everything I can to get through this difficult time and come back stronger and more motivated than ever."

Soderling has been replaced in the draw by Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci.

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