Fed earns historic Paris win
Roger Federer became the sixth man to complete a career Grand Slam with victory over Robin Soderling in the French Open final.
Last Updated: 08/06/09 11:09am
Roger Federer finally won his maiden French Open title with a straight-sets victory over Robin Soderling.
The Swiss claimed a 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 success at Roland Garros to complete a career Grand Slam and move level with Pete Sampras on 14 major titles.
The 27-year-old joined Fred Perry, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Andre Agassi as the only men to have won all four Grand Slam events.
He collapsed to his knees on the Paris clay and began to cry after clinching the one major title to have previously eluded him, having lost each of the last three finals to Rafael Nadal.
Federer had raced through the opening set in 23 minutes, losing just one point on his own serve, as his Swedish opponent initially appeared overawed by the occasion.
But 23rd seed Soderling, who beat Nadal, Nikolay Davydenko and Fernando Gonzalez en route to the final, improved thereafter.
The second set remained on serve and, as light rain began to fall in Paris, a dramatic incident at the start of the fourth game briefly held up play.
An intruder leapt on court and brandished a flag in Federer's face before attempting to put a cap on his head. As security came on court, the man turned around, leapt over the net before being rugby-tackled.
Federer appeared slightly shaken by the incident at first and lost the next game to love, although it was on Soderling's serve.
The next three games went with serve as the rain continued to come down steadily and the match supervisor was huddled court-side, appearing ready to stop play.
Soderling twice kept his composure when serving to stay in the set and took it to a tie-break. By now umbrellas were up everywhere in the crowd.
Federer opened a 4-1 lead in the tie-break with three consecutive aces, moving to set point with a superb drop shot and then sent down a fourth ace to clinch the set.
He immediately took control of the third set by breaking Soderling's serve in the opening game.
And Federer remained resolute on his own delivery until, serving for the match at 5-4 ahead, he fell 30-40 behind.
But a confident volley forced deuce, and Federer closed out victory in one hour and 55 minutes on his first match point when Soderling netted a service return.