Sweden’s Robin Soderling has confirmed he will not defend his title at the Paris Masters next month as he continues to struggle with mononucleosis, organisers announced Thursday.
Soderling, the world number six, will be replaced by Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in the final Masters 1000 of the season, which takes place at Bercy from November 7-13.
The 27-year-old has not played since mid-July and his victory at Bastad in Sweden. He had hoped to return in time for the Stockholm Open this week but had to pull out due to his symptoms which include fatigue.
Soderling, a double French Open finalist, has won four titles this season at Brisbane, Rotterdam, Marseille and Bastad.
However, his participation in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London now looks far less certain, as the 1000 points accrued from his 2010 Paris triumph will drop off.
Three qualification places remain for the tennis season’s climax, which showcases the top eight players in the world each year.
Suddenly the prospects of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils reaching the O2 – ranked 9 and 10 respectively – seem much improved.
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