On June 7th 2009, Roger Federer won his first Roland Garros title after beating Robin Soderling in the 108th French Open in Paris.
Federer’s straight sets win over Soderling ended a run of three successive French Open final defeats after losing to long-time rival Rafael Nadal in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 finals.
The victory was a historic one for Federer, not only did the Swiss equal Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles to his name, Federer also completed a career Slam, becoming just the sixth man in history to have won the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.
In the match itself, Federer dominated from the off, despite a close second set which the Swiss took on a tie-break, the result was pretty much a formality after Federer took the first set 6-1. He prevailed to win in straight sets in just under two hours, 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4.
His opponent Soderling, was being tipped by many to produce another shock after stunning the Parisian crowd by beating four-time Champion Rafael Nadal, in the fourth round.
However, the final proved to be a bridge too far for Soderling, who was also a losing finalist in the 2010 final. The Swede conceded that Federer, “was too good today” and said the 27-year-old had “given me a lesson in how to play tennis.”
For Federer, he was appearing in a record breaking 19th major final, his fifth in succession and 15th out of the past 16 Grand Slams. However, despite some stunning wins in the past, Federer labelled this triumph as his best.
He said after the match, “It was probably my greatest victory, I was under big pressure. I did it and it’s phenomenal. It was great to be on the podium as a winner for a change.”
A few weeks later, Federer became the greatest player in Grand Slam history after winning his 15th major at Wimbledon. His overall total currently stands at 18 after his latest victory at the Australian Open last January.
Meanwhile, Robin Soderling sadly announced his retirement form tennis in 2015 after battling Injury and illness since 2011.