Monday, June 8, 2009

Federer's Fight for a First: FINALLY!!

What is there really to say? Roger Federer beat Robin Soderling, 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4 on Sunday to complete a career Grand Slam and win his 14th major title, matching Sampras’ record. Simply amazing.

It turned out to be a very straight-forward match, as the moment clearly lifted Roger and unnerved Soderling. The entire stadium had no interest in even seeing a competitive match. They ONLY wanted to see Federer win as quickly as possible so they could start celebrating. The only moment of surprise was when an idiot fan ran on court and accosted Federer in the middle of a game. Thank goodness he was only an idiot and not a psycho because for a second there Federer was very vulnerable to attack. It really altered the atmosphere in the stadium for a few games, but luckily it had no impact on the match overall.

It was great to see Roger win the French. I must admit that deep down for most of this week, I still wanted him to lose out of devotion to Nadal. Even as I was writing encouraging things on the blog, I was not 100% in Roger's corner. But then as I was working out on Saturday evening, it really hit me how much he deserved to win. Here he's been 4 years in a row. Three losses in a row. He's worked so hard to maintain his fitness and competitive edge to be at the top for so long. It's truly amazing. He didn't deserve to have this one tournament hanging over him any longer. If it wasn't gonna be his greatest rival denying him the trophy, no one else should've been able to stand in his way. He took the loss at the Aussie Open this year, so hard. It's nice that he could rebound this way, as a newlywed and an expectant father and no more questions about the clay. It's pretty awesome.

How does Fed feel? “It’s maybe my greatest victory, or certainly the one that removes the most pressure off my shoulders. “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.”

Federer becomes the sixth man to win all four Grand Slam championships. I hold out hope that Nadal can take a US Open and become the seventh. :) It was very fitting that Andre Agassi who was the last man to complete the career Slam (and who had been hiding somewhere away from the cameras the whole match! I didn't see him once!) handed Fed the trophy. It was a very special moment - even the rain couldn't take away from the moment. Congrats on the title, Fed. Good luck at Wimbledon, where I will go back to rooting for Nadal full force! Rest those knees, Rafa!

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