STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Two-time French Open finalist Robin Soderling has written about his mental health in a social media post and revealed that he suffered from anxiety and panic attacks after playing professional tennis.
Soderling, who was the first man to beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros in 2009, wrote on Instagram on Tuesday that he “just wanted to crawl out of (his) skin” in 2011, his last year on the tour.
“No one gives you information and tools on how you are supposed to handle the pressure both on and off the court,” Soderling said. “How to take care of yourself mentally just as carefully as you’re taking care of your body.”
Soderling has previously spoken of how mononucleosis, which can cause severe and persistent fatigue, stopped him from playing. He said he has battled anxiety and panic attacks since then.
Soderling’s last match on tour was a win over David Ferrer in the Swedish Open final.
“I feel good again, maybe even better than before,” Soderling wrote.
Soderling reached a career high ranking of No. 4 and won 10 tour-level titles. He lost the 2009 French Open final to Roger Federer and the 2010 final to Nadal.
“It’s time to address mental illness amongst professional athletes,” Soderling wrote, “and this time actually do something about it.”