Roger Federer beat Robin Soderling in straight sets to win his first French Open and equal Pete Sampras’s record of 14 Grand Slam titles. World number two Federer becomes only the sixth man to have won each of the four Grand Slam tournaments. The 27-year-old Swiss produced a near-faultless display in testing conditions to dominate Sweden’s Soderling, a shock finalist, from start to finish.
He wrapped up a 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 victory in one hour and 55 minutes. Federer joins Fred Perry, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Andre Agassi as the only men to have won all four Grand Slam titles and was presented the Coupe des Mousquetaires by Agassi.
“It was probably my greatest victory, I was under big pressure,” said Federer. “I did it and it’s phenomenal. It was great to be on the podium as a winner for a change. “Andre said it was my destiny to win this and that I deserved it.
Soderling admitted: “Roger was too good for me today, he played much better. He is a worthy winner and for me he is the best player in history. He gave me a lesson in how to play tennis.” Federer has now won five Wimbledon titles, five US Opens, three Australian Opens and one French Open, a triumph that will go some way to silencing those who claimed his career was on the slide amid the rise of world number one Rafael Nadal.
The former world number one was appearing in a record-equalling 19th Grand Slam final, his fifth in succession and, remarkably, his 15th in the last 16 Grand Slam tournaments. Federer had lost each of the last three finals to Nadal and the Spaniard’s shock defeat by Soderling in round four suggested another huge upset was possible.
But the Swiss looked a picture of calm from the moment he set foot on Court Phillipe Chatrier and, cheered on by large sections of the crowd, made a blistering start.