- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Sixth-seeded Robin Soderling withdrew from the U.S. Open because of illness.

The Swede was scheduled to face 618th-ranked qualifier Louk Sorensen in the first round Wednesday. “Lucky loser” Rogerio Dutra da Silva of Brazil took his spot.

His agent said in a statement that Soderling started feeling “really bad” Tuesday night with stomach pain and a headache. A doctor recommended he not play.

Soderling had not played since withdrawing from Montreal with a wrist injury in early August.

The 114th-ranked Dutra da Silva went from losing in qualifying to the second round of a major tournament. In his Grand Slam debut, the 27-year-old advanced when Sorensen withdrew because of cramps with Dutra da Silva leading 6-0, 3-6, 6-4, 1-0.

Soderling had tweeted Aug. 21: “Wrist is feeling better. Travelling to NY tomorrow,”

He missed Cincinnati because of a throat problem that agent Nina Wennerstrom said might be related to the virus that sidelined him in New York. He won at Bastad in his last tournament in mid-July.

The two-time French Open runner-up reached the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows last year to equal his best result.

It’s been a wild swing of emotions for the 26-year-old Sorensen, who retired from tennis early this year because of a long, long list of injuries. He had been coaching and playing for fun in Germany, where he was born and currently lives. Sorensen plays for Ireland, for which his father is a former Davis Cup player.

Realizing he had some protected rankings, Sorensen decided to try to qualify for the Open and visit New York for the first time.

It took about 10 players withdrawing for Sorensen to even get into qualifying, then he won three matches to reach the main draw of a major tournament for the second time in his career.

In the locker room as he prepared to take the court, somebody told him he wasn’t playing Soderling.

“I said, ‘Yes, I am,’” Sorensen recalled with a laugh. “He said, ‘No, no, the Brazilian guy just told me he got in.’”

Sorensen was a bit disappointed _ he’d been looking forward to facing a top-10 player for the first time. Then again, taking on a lucky loser was a great opportunity to win another Grand Slam match.

Instead, his hand started cramping at 3-3 in the third set.

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