Posted by Barrie on Sunday, 7 June 2009

Roger Federer completes career Grand Slam defeating Soderling at Roland Garros

Roger Federer went into the history books today by winning the French Open for the first time in his career, making him only the sixth male player to win all 4 Grand Slams and tying Pete Sampras' record 14 Grand Slams.

Robin Soderling struggled to get any first serves going in the opening game and was broken straight away following a double fault. Roger Federer was solid on his opening service game. Federer was getting the better of the early rally exchanges, with Soderlin's only 2 points on his following serve coming on returns into the net. A judgement error on Federer's return that Soderling left, dropped in to give the world number 2 a 3-0 lead. Federer held his serve comfortably before Soderling registered on the scoreboard for the first time. The crowd clearly on Federer's side, giving him the louder reception at the beginning of the game and early points, they gave Federer a loud cheer when he won the opening set on Soderling's serve on his second set point. Soderling was broken 3 times and took just 1 point off Federer in the opening set.

Federer's first serve continued to help him dominate his service, as he took the opening of set two to 15, with that single Soderling point coming on a second serve. The Swede was able to hold his serve with relative ease following that but once-again couldn't cause Federer any problems on his, who sealed the third game with his fifth ace. A spectator from the crowd entered the stage when he ran on court waving a Spanish flag around before grabbing Federer and then jumping over the net before being nicely taken out and taken away. Some shocking security display though, for a Grand Slam final of all places. Already 15-0 up, Soderling took the next 3 points with ease for his first hold to love. It began drizzling as both players held onto their serves throughout the set to force a tie break. A pivotel point in the match, an opportunity for the underdog to get back into the match, but Roger Federer didn't allow that to happen. He opened with 3 aces on his first 3 serves, and allowed Soderling just 1 point, before finishing it off with an ace and a 7-1 second set tie break victory.

Roger Federer started the third set by breaking Robin Soderling's serve. Federer held onto his following service game, but the Swede wasn't giving up as he held onto his and then received his first break point of the match when Federer missed a straightforward forehand. However the Swede failed to capitalise as Federer took the next three points and take a 3-1 lead. The match went with serve after that, up to game 10, where an unforced error from Federer gave Soderling his second break point of the match, which he saved on a miss-hit from Soderling. A volley later setup his first match point which was all he needed when Soderling returned his serve into the net, winning 6-1 7-6 6-4. Federer fell to his knees, hands in his face, holding back the tears of joy for his great success, with wife Mirka Vavrinec watching and cheering him on as ever in the stand. He thanked Soderling and the crowd afterwards as he arguably became the great player in modern era tennis today.

Roger Federer's serve was too good and Soderling never looked like getting into this match and was fairly inconsistent himself. His powerful serves, and shots to the back of the court that caused Nadal problems a week ago weren't having the same effect on Federer, as it looked inevitable from the beginning that he wasn't going to get in the way of Federer's momentus occasion.

Roger Federer has now joined the elite list of male tennis players to have won the career Grand Slam; all 4 big ones, the list now consists of Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Andre Agassi and now the great Swiss himself. Roger Federer still remains 2nd to Rafael Nadal in the world rankings, whilst Robin Soderling moves up to 12th.

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