Federer really is king.
FINALLY! Roger Federer completes his career grand slam and equals Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles by clinching his first Roland Garros (a.k.a. French Open) win. WOOOOOOOOOOO!
I have to say that, despite the fact that all the other top seeds were out of the competition and that the crown was like super cushy for him to take, that he was the odds-on favourite to win and that he was (and still is) my favourite player by far, things were looking a bit scary there.
After all, his road to the finals (against not-that-great opponents too) hadn’t been all that easy and he hadn’t been playing anywhere near his best while Soderling had an amazing run, defeating a whole slew of good players along the way.
Plus, while everyone was talking about how pressured Soderling must have been and whether he would be able to withstand the big match mindset, I think everyone glossed over how even more stressed out Federer must have been.
After all, Soderling had nothing to lose. He’d already gone further in a grand slam than he’d ever gone before. Federer, on the other hand, was the crowd favourite, was looking to equal a world record and was looking to get his career slam. If you ask me, I think I’d be more stress if I was Federer.
Still, he showed why he was world number one for so long and why he’s, to me, a highly under-rated clay court player who’s probably second only to Nadal in the world (plus, Soderling didn’t do so hot either). Not his best play, I’d have to say (especially if it was again Nadal), but good enough.
Straight sets victory (although the last two sets were slightly more exciting than the steamroll in the first set), more than twice as many winners (58-28), less double faults (2-3), higher stats all around (including 1st serve wins, 2nd serve wins, break point conversions and, of course, total points won), eight times as many aces (16-2).
Even in terms of unforced errors, they’re quite close (24-22) even though Federer usually has like twice the number of errors versus his opponents.
I think it’s ironic how he managed to clinch the one title that has eluded him while he’s in his biggest slump ever and not even playing all that well. And, while I’m a great fan of his, I’d have to be realistic and say that I’m not sure how many titles he has left in the bag, now that he’s getting older (after all, 28 is almost ancient in tennis years) and getting past his prime.
Heck, I’m not even sure he’ll win Wimbledon in three weeks’ time (given his current condition) but I think he’ll at least give a decent showing (and if he does win, then I’m gonna be one happy happy fan!).
Still, I think he’s achieved enough and played fantastic enough to warrant his place in tennis history. Go Roger Federer, tennis legend and my favourite player of all time!