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By Rohit Sharma
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Roger Federer saw his dream come true at the red clay of Roland Garros when he became the sixth man in the history to win all four Grand Slams in his career. In the finals he beat Swedish Sensation Robin Soderling 6-1, 7-6(1), 6-4 to win the record tying 14th Grand Slam event and his first on the red Clay at Roland Garros. The only other man to have won as many Grand Slam events is American Pete Sampras, who ended his career without the French Open.
Interestingly, the last man to achieve a career slam was another American Andre Agassi, who achieved the elusive feat ten years ago at the same venue when he lifted the 1999 French Open trophy after defeating Andrei Medvedev. Besides Federer and Agassi, the other four champions to win all four Grand Slams are Roy Emerson, Don Budge, Fred Perry and Rod Laver.
Federer started the match in style pocketing a break to go up 2-1 and with the help of another break, won the first set 6-1 rather handily.
The Swede showed resistance in the second set which was decided in a tie-break in Swiss' favour. The third set witnessed the Swiss Maestro get a crucial break of serve in the very first game. From then on, Federer consolidated his single break and served for the Championship at 5-4. While serving at 30-40, Federer took a sigh as Soderling mis-hit a forehand and two points later Federer dropped to his knees in victorious elation as this time the tears were of sheer joy.
“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.”
"It was really not easy to deal with my emotions,".
"Until the end of my career, I can play peacefully knowing that I will never again hear it said that I never won Roland Garros."
"This is the most satisfying win of my life, along with my first Wimbledon," added Federer. “I have tried for so many years, so there was much pressure involved... I always believed in it but it becomes harder with time.”
Soderling, gracious in his defeat, congratulated his legendary opponent -“Roger, really, congrats to you. You really gave me a lesson in how to play tennis today. And to me you’re the greatest player in history. So you really deserved to win this title.”
“Yesterday, me and my coach were joking, you’ve beaten me nine times in a row, and we were joking nobody can beat me 10 times in a row. But we were wrong.”
With a win, Federer pocketed € 1,060,000, whereas Soderling got a hefty check of € 530,000 for his effort.
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