Federer smashes his way into the history books
Roger Federer powered past Robin Soderling in an emphatic straight sets victory to claim his first ever French Open title, and complete his collection of all four Grand Slams.
It was a determined, ruthless performance from the 27-year-old and even a spectator who invaded the pitch during the second set and attempted to place a hat on his head couldn’t distract the Swiss from the task in hand.
The 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 victory means Federer becomes only the sixth ever player to win all four Grand Slams, and with it equals Pete Sampras’s record of 14 Slam titles.
Federer came out with all guns blazing, and stormed away with the first set 6-1. The second set was a much closer affair, as Soderling found his feet, but the world number two won the tie-break at 6-6 with ease to take a two-set lead.
The third set was saw Federer break Soderling early on and hold his serve – and his nerve, to serve for the match at 5-4. The five-time Wimbledon and US Open champion showed a rare glimpse of nerves when serving out the match, allowing Soderling a break point in the final game. But he fought back and claimed the match – a moment in which emotions got the better of him as he struggled to hold back the tears.
Federer’s serve throughout the match was impeccable and a major factor in the victory. He hit 16 aces in total, often coming at crucial points, and hit an impressive 66% of first-serves in.
The former world number one had lost three consecutive Roland Garros finals to Rafael Nadal, but with the Spaniard crashing out early on in the competition, one could sense that this would be Federer’s year in Paris.
The victory undoubtedly puts Federer up there with the very best of all time in men’s tennis, and makes him only the fifth ever player to win Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces.
An emotional Federer speaking after the match emphasised the importance of Sunday’s victory.
“It might be the greatest victory of my career,” said the 27-year-old. “It takes away so much pressure. Now, I can play in peace for the rest of my career.”
“Nobody will never tell me again that I have not won Roland Garros.”
“It feels good to be on the podium as the winner for once. It is a magical moment.”