Federer Wins First French Open

by John on June 7, 2009

Happy days are here again for Roger Federer. The Swiss Maestro is newly married, there’s a baby on the way and today he removed the last blemish on an otherwise sterling resume. Federer won his first French Open title on a cool, windy and sometimes rainy Sunday afternoon, defeating surprise finalist Robin Soderling 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4. The victory completed Federer’s career Grand Slam and was his 14th major title, tying Pete Sampras for the all-time mark. “Now the question is: Am I the greatest of all time?” Federer said. “We don’t know, but I definitely have many things going for me because I’ve finally won all four Grand Slams, and I’m particularly happy reaching Pete’s 14.” Federer’s road to the title was anything but easy. The Swiss star dropped a set to both Jose Acasuso and Paul-Henri Mathieu in the second and third rounds and rallied from a two-set deficit to beat Tommy Haas in the fourth round. Federer survived another five-setter against Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals. Soderling, the giant killer of the tournament, started the match tight and sluggish, steadied in the second set, and then finally ran out of gas in long rallies in the third. The No. 25-ranked Swede knocked out David Ferrer, Rafael Nadal, Nikolay Davydenko and Fernando Gonzalez enroute to the final. It’s a wonder that he had anything left for Federer. Soderling dropped the first four games of the match, and held only once in the first set. Federer kept the Swede scrambling with penetrating groundstrokes to both corners and mixed in the occasional drop shot. The second set went on serve to the tiebreaker, where Federer played brilliantly, hitting aces on all four of his service points. Soderling was broken in the first game of the third set, missing a sitter on break point, and from there the match was essentially over. “It’s always tough to play Roger,” Soderling said. “He really played well today. I had a few small chances in the second set, but overall he played too well for me today.” Federer improved to 10-0 lifetime against Soderling. The Swiss Maestro’s quest for a title at Roland Garros had been blocked by Nadal the past four years. The top-ranked Spaniard defeated Federer in the semifinals in 2005, and in the finals the last three years. “It’s maybe my greatest victory, or certainly the one that removes the most pressure off my shoulders,” Federer said. “I think that now and until the end of my career, I can really play with my mind at peace and no longer hear that I’ve never won Roland Garros.”

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Erik June 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I really wish Federer would have won his record tying 14th Grand Slam title against Nadal, but in any case, he finally won his elusive French Open title. In my humble opinion, Federer is the best of all-time.

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