French Open 2009 Men’s Final Recap
A recap of Roger Federer’s great run at last year’s French Open.
Roger Federer completed the career Grand Slam with victory over Robin Soderling at the French Open.
Federer won 6-1 7-6 (7/1) 6-4 to become only the sixth man in history to win all four Grand Slam tournaments.
He also equals Pete Sampras’ all-time record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles and will now be regarded by many as the greatest player of all time.
Federer told the crowd moments after his win: “The victory was a huge pressure for me today.
“It’s one of the best days of my life.”
He later added: “I do feel like it was meant to be.
“I was in desperate situations this tournament. The terrible rain, the swirly winds and the dangerous opponent (today) was just part of it.
“I was able to handle it for two weeks.”
Federer, the second seed here, joins Fred Perry, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Andre Agassi as the only men to have won all four grand slams.
Picking up a sixth Wimbledon crown this summer will allow him to surpass Sampras’ Grand Slam record.
He adds: “That almost gets forgotten – it’s an incredible feeling reaching 14 and not being derailed by losing grand slam finals to Rafa (at Roland Garros and Wimbledon last year and the Australian Open this year).
“Equalling Pete’s record here in Paris is unbelievable. And Andre (Agassi), the last man to win all four Majors, giving me the trophy seems just very fitting in a way.”
Victory over Soderling was rarely in doubt, the Swiss great racing through the first set and then fending off Soderling’s attempts at a comeback in competitive second and third sets.
It was a fitting way for Federer achieve the feat – the 27-year-old producing a superb display to which we have become accustomed.
His serve was outstanding – he faced just two break points in the entire match and was never broken – the famous forehand rock solid, while his use of the drop shot – so often the one weakness in his game – baffled his Swedish opponent.
Federer got off to the best possible start, breaking serve in the very first game as he found top gear immediately.
Soderling looked a little nervous but Federer’s level was so good he stood little chance in the early stages. He never allowed Soderling to dictate, as he had done so often during his dream run at Roland Garros, one which had seen him beat Federer’s nemesis Rafael Nadal, the four-time defending champion.
The opening set was over in just 23 minutes, Soderling losing his serve three times.
The second set was much closer – a rare moment of concern coming when a spectator invaded the court and bizarrely dangled a flag over Federer – and no breaks of serve meant a tie-break was required to separate the players.
Had Soderling taken it, perhaps Federer would have stumbled. As it was, he was never given a hope.
Federer played a near-perfect tie-break, winning it 7-1, serving four aces from his four service points.
When Soderling dropped serve at the start of the third set the game looked up for the 23rd seed and although he forced break points in games four and 10 – as Federer served for the match – the Swiss stood firm.
Upon clinching victory when Soderling found the net, Federer sank to his knees in sheer delight and was soon overcome with emotion.
He got up to receive the trophy from Andre Agassi, the last man to win all four majors, his place in history assured.
Soderling summed up the feelings of many by hailing his opponent thus: “Roger is a really worthy winner. To me he is the best player in history so he really deserves to win here at the French as well.”
French Open 2009 Women’s Final Recap
A recap of Svetlena Kuznetsova’s first ever win on French soil at last year’s French Open.
Svetlena Kuznetsova became French Open champion for the first time in her career by upsetting fellow Russian Dinara Safina in the final.
The underdog added the Roland Garros title to her 2004 US Open crown with a 6-4 6-2 win in what was, in truth, a disappointing final.
Kuznetsova showed the better variety and fully deserved her victory but Safina looked a shadow of the player that had won 20 of her 21 matches on clay in 2009.
Safina, the top seed, actually broke her opponent’s serve in the opening game but from there it was all downhill.
Kuznetsova immediately retrieved the break and set about building a lead, using drop shots and the occasional foray to the net to unsettle her one-dimensional opponent.
Kuznetsova moved 5-3 ahead and although she failed to serve out it mattered little as she outhit Safina in the following game to take the opening set.
Safina had thrown in too many double faults in the opener but looked to be hanging in there as the second set began.
The set progressed on serve but stepping up at 2-3, Safina cracked.
Four straight errors from her racquet handed Kuznetsova a break of serve.
The seventh seed had struggled to close out her quarter-final and semi-final but on this occasion Safina was simply not playing well enough to stop her.
A double fault from Safina was an awful way for the match to end and the questions will now continue about her position as world number one. Having lost last year’s Paris final and this year’s Australian Open title decider, she remains without a Grand Slam title.
Afterwards, Kuznetsova admitted she had arrived in Paris not expecting to triumph.
“I’m really happy, it’s very special here for me – winning for the very first time,” she told the crowd.
“I didn’t expect it to be this year. But I played with all my heart.
“It’s my favourite tournament and I’m happy to win it.”
An emotional Safina, beaten in the final for the second year in a row, said Kuznetsova was the correct winner.
“You really deserved your win,” she said. ” I wish you the best of luck for the rest of the season.
“I just wish I can play here again. Hopefully one day I can win here.”