9 Dec 2011

Sick Soderling to miss Australian Open

1:50 pm on 9 December 2011

Sweden's former world tennis number four Robin Soderling has ruled himself out of the Australian Open as he struggles to conquer mononucleosis.

The 27-year-old has not played since mid-July when he captured the Bastad title, his fourth trophy of the season, and will now miss the first Grand Slam tennis event of 2012.

Soderling says his recovery has been longer than expected and while he's feeling better with each day it will still take some time before he can start practicing at full speed.

He hopes for a tournament comeback in February.

Soderling, twice a French Open runner-up, is currently ranked at 13 in the world.

The Australian Open gets underway in Melbourne on January 16.