The Swiss Star Breaks the Curse of the French Open

After three years of defeat, Federer finally serves it out to win

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has finally achieved what has been denied him for so long, taking the 2009 title in the French Open in July. After having been second for three years in a row, losing to the Spaniard Raphael Nadal, he has been driven by the inner devil. This year he finally managed to break the curse.

The question is what took him so long?

Pros and fans had already predicted his final decline after having a bad season last year, winning only one Grand Slam title at the 2008 U.S. Open. Meanwhile Nadal, unbeaten for 65 consecutive games on the clay court, kept progressing, becoming one of the very few players to give Federer a serious challenge. In the six previous meetings in the final, Nadal won every game, improving his form and hinting that Federer had yet again not found a winning recipe. Federer had been the dominant player on the World Tour since 2002, but his dominance was fading.

Had tennis pundits said too much? If a top player loses a couple of matches, is the athlete necessarily on the decline?

Robin Soderling who played Federer in the final, paid his tribute to “the greatest tennis player of all time.” And it was the Swede who, in the semi-final, brought an end to Nadal’s French Open reign and paved the way for the Swiss man to win his first Roland Garros title – one of the four majors in the ATP World Tour circus, next to the Australian Open, U.S. Open, and Wimbledon – matching Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slams. During the final, the crowd was clearly behind Federer. Soderling not only had a venerable opponent to play but also an unsupportive crowd. Although understandable, this was hardly a fair playing field for the Swede.

During the award ceremony, Federer said that he is a very happy husband and soon- to-be dad, not to mention a very happy tennis player. From now on he can play relaxed again. Let’s be honest, if he has been playing stiffly until now, still winning tournaments, then what is to come?

One month later there was the next big Grand Slam at Wimbledon. After the top seed Raphael Nadal dropped out due to severe knee problems, the way was cleared again for Roger Federer to collect his sixth title in seven years. His final opponent Andy Roddick (USA) however, did not give up easily. This year’s final became the longest ever, lasting over four hours.

The match was pretty much even; Roddick served very well and Federer responded with amazing rallies. It was the type of match-up in which the first to make a mistake would lose the match. With the fifth set score at 15-14, Roddick made an unforced error. The game then fell in favor to Federer. He won his record fifteenth Grand Slam title, surpassing Sampras. The crowd went wild and congratulated with standing ovations.

Federer has now reached an echelon few athletes ever experience. Alongside Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt or Michael Jordan, Federer achieved the almost ultimate success in his field of sports: mastering it while avoiding major scandals. The only title missing now is the Olympic Gold Medal in the men singles, which he did not achieve in Beijing in 2008.

Without the Olympic gold, though, Soderling still claims him to be the greatest player of all time. Federer is proving this himself, with the most Grand Slam titles and, he rightfully announced to the audience at the prize ceremony that he “is not planning on stopping to collect them any time soon.”

amazing rallies. It was the type of match-up in which the first to make a mistake would lose the match. With the fifth set score at 15-14, Roddick made a crucial mistake. The game then fell in favor of Federer. He won his record fifteenth Grand Slam title, surpassing Sampras. The crowd was wild and congratulated with standing ovations.

Federer crowned himself best player with the most Grand Slam titles and, as he put it at the prize ceremony, “is not planning on stopping to collect them any time soon.”

Share This Post

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone