Roger Federer’s win today at The French Open has probably solidified himself as the best tennis player of all time. He has tied the record for most Grand Slams in a career tying Peter Sampras with 14, in addition to that he became the 6th player in history to win a title at each of the 4 Grand Slams. He has been in the discussion for a long time, but right now, with this win over Robin Soderling you would be hard pressed to come up with an argument against him being designated as the best ever. His buddy Tiger Woods has 14 Majors he has 14 Majors coincidence? Probably but still cool.
In a match that he looked like he was always in control and the outcome not in doubt there was 1 brief moment when you thought that if anything was going to stop Roger it was going to be this incident. A knucklehead fan came out of the crowd and made a turn towards Federer. Roger backed away not knowing what to do or what was going on and more importantly what was going through the knucklehead fans mind. The guy took out a flag and began waving it. He was quickly grabbed but it at the very least shook up Federer or affected his concentration for a brief few moments. It was at that point the entire feel in the stadium changed. It could have gone off the tracks at that point but the mentally tough Federer managed to re focus and take control once again. It wasn’t until the last game that there was any real sign of emotion from the workmanlike performance from Roger. You could see him getting a little emotional knowing just how close he was to getting to his desired final goal.
Then it happened the ball from Soderling went into the net, Roger dropped to his knees and there were tears in his eyes that almost matched the rain that was now flowing from the sky. He had done it - 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4 a straight sets victory.Very rarely in a sports event does so many people root for and want 1 single person to succeed but that was clearly the case at Roland Garos, it was a pro Federer crowd that know that they had the chance to be part of history.
In a classy move during the speech Soderling congratulated Federer by saying "Roger, really, congrats to you," .... "You really gave me a lesson in how to play tennis today. And to me you're the greatest player in history. So you really deserved to win this title." and showing more humor and credit stated that "Yesterday, me and my coach were joking," Soderling told Federer during the trophy ceremony. "You've beaten me nine times in a row, and we were joking nobody can beat me 10 times in a row. But we were wrong."
With Rafael Nadal hurting and pulling out of the Wimbledon warm up tournament it could be the opening for Federer to look to surpass Sampras with win #15 and just how fitting would it be for it to happen in England at Wimbledon.