Robin Soderling will miss the Australian Open in January of 2012, as the Swede continues to fight mononucleosis.
Soderling posted the following message at his Facebook page:
Hello my friends. I am very sorry for being away for so long and for not giving many updates but my recovery has been longer than expected. I am feeling better with each day but it will still take some time before I can start practicing in full speed.
My goal is to start with practice in January and I hope for tournament comeback in February but at this stage it is hard to know when and where. I hope my body will allow me to do that. I will try to give you more updates. I love reading your messages and appreciate your support and encouragement very much.
Soderling's absence from the 2012 Australian Open will dilute the talent in the field, as the former top-five player is a difficult out in a Grand Slam. However, the Swede has historically done quite poor in Melbourne Park compared to the other Slams, as last season's round-of-16 appearance was his career-best.
Soderling stated he hopes to make a comeback in February. That means that the 180 ranking points for the Aussie will go undefended, as will the 250 ranking points he earned at ATP Brisbane in 2011.
If Soderling, despite his hopes, misses February as well, his ATP Rotterdam title will go undefended (500 ranking points) as will his ATP Marseille title (250 ranking points that do not currently factor into his ranking).
That could see the Swede fall out of the top 30 on tour with the American hard-court swing looming in March and April.