Federer ties Slam mark with French Open victory

From ESPN.

Congrats to Federer! for winning his 7th Wimbledon title!
The 30-year-old Federer finally equaled Pete Sampras' record at the All England Club, and won his 17th Grand Slam title overall, by beating Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday. (2012)

Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer for sixth French Open (2011)

Nadal flummoxed Federer yet again Sunday in a riveting, highlight-filled match, beating him 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1 for a record-tying sixth French Open championship and 10th major title overall.

Federer ties Slam mark with French victory
Intruder runs onto court, stops men's final
Ford: Federer in a class by himself
Garber: Is Federer the greatest of all time?
Garber: From prodigy to excellence
Garber: Sampras fine sharing the torch
Photos: Revisiting Fed's 14 majors
Sampras: Federer is best ever to play

Kuznetsova upsets Safina for women's title
Kuznetsova gets an assist from Marat and Federer (TennisWorld)

From RolandGarros

Federer displays greatness in winning first Roland Garros
Flawless Federer storms to historic first French crown
Interview with Roger Federer
Interview with Robin Soderling

Agassi pulling for Federer title
Fabrice Santoro: Federer’s biggest match ever

Interview with Svetlana Kuznetsova

Congratulations to both Federer and Kuznetsova for winning their 1st French Open!

PARIS -- Roger Federer beat Robin Soderling, tied Pete Sampras and won the French Open at last.

Undeterred by an on-court intruder, Federer defeated surprise finalist 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.

"It's maybe my greatest victory, or certainly the one that removes the most pressure off my shoulders," Federer said. "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."

On his fourth try in a Paris final, Federer became the sixth man to win all four Grand Slam championships.

Sampras said Federer deserves to be at the top of the all-time list.

"I'm obviously happy for Roger," Sampras told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, where he lives. "Now that he has won in Paris, I think it just more solidifies his place in history as the greatest player that played the game, in my opinion."

The supportive crowd included Andre Agassi, the most recent man to complete a career Grand Slam when he won at Roland Garros 10 years ago. Agassi presented Federer with the trophy.

"I'm so happy for you, man," Agassi said.

"You're the last man to win all four Grand Slams," Federer said. "Now I can relate to what it really feels like. ... It feels good to be for once on the podium as the winner. It's a magical moment."

Tears ran down Federer's cheeks as the Swiss national anthem played.

"Roger, really, congrats to you," Soderling said.

Federer owed Soderling a thank-you for easing his path by upsetting four-time defending champion Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.

"I kind of was relieved, because he was going to be the hardest one to beat," Federer said.

Nadal defeated Federer at Roland Garros the past four years, including three consecutive times in the final.

Besides Federer and Agassi, the other men to win all four Grand Slams tournaments were Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson.


Q. We would like to know if you felt more suspense than we felt? You won the first set, second set in the tiebreaker, third, set break immediately. So for you it was easier than you expected,or...

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, sure, I expected a tough match today obviously because Robin's been playing well and it's a final of Paris, one thatI've never been able to win yet.


I was very nervous at the beginning of the third set because I realized how close I was. The last game, obviously you can imagine how difficult that game was. It was almost unplayable for me because I was just hoping to serve some good serves and hoping that he was going to make four errors. It was that bad.

So, yeah,it was an emotional roller coaster for me.

Q. McEnroe never won here, and Edberg never won here and Pete never won here. Are you aware there were a lot people thinking you sort of fit into that category and it would have been shame if you didn't do it?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I always tended to disagree with those. I had the feeling I gave myself too many opportunity over the years at the French Open. I think Pete was maybe once in the semis. Other players were maybe once in the finals. I was in the final three times, one semis before, and I was able to win Hamburg four times and be in the finals of Monaco and Rome, of all those tournaments.

I knew the day Rafa won't be in the finals, I will be there and I will win. I always knew and that I believed in it. That's exactly what happened. It's funny. I didn't hope for it,but I believed in it.

Q. When Nadal lost, you didn't make many comments about it because you had to remain focused on your next opponents. You had to be focused on that rather than on Nadal that was no longer there. But now it's over, so can you tell us if you thought, okay, this is gonna be a good year for me? Did it come to your mind?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I knew I had bigger opportunities than the years before, because, you know, records against Nadal are tough for me. Even I had defeated him in Madrid, I knew that if he was no longer in the draw, things would be easier for me. I was not happy he lost. That's not the type of guy I am.

This is also why I had to keep my feelings to myself. The press wanted to hear me and listen to what I had to say. When the time came for the press conference, they wanted me to say something about it. But to me, it's important to have respect for Rafa for everything he's accomplished over the last four years. He never lost here. That's an exceptional record, and it shows how difficult it is to win a tournament five times in a row.

That's something. I know. I've done it in Wimbledon and US Open. He tried to achieve it here, and it shows it's not easy to achieve. Of course, I was disappointed for him, but I also knew that it was a big opportunity for me. But it also increased pressure on me.

Didn't make much difference right at that time, but for the final it did because I was not playing Nadal but Soderling.

Q. Since last Sunday and the elimination of Nadal, there were great expectations on you. Was it the longest week of your life?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, these were two long weeks, but especially the last one, because it was as if I had to play four finals against Haas, Del Potro, Monfils, and Soderling. The pressure is so big. People really wanted my to win.

It was very difficult to manage all this. This is why I'm very tired right now. I think it's going to take me a bit of time to sort of accept this victory. It came as a surprise in the end because I've never won here, but the feelings were great, absolutely great.

This is why I think it might take me a bit more time to realize that I made it.

Q. Soderling played beautiful matches all along the tournament. Today he was almost absent during the first set. What happened? Was it the pressure of the final? How do you analyze this?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, no, I don't think so. He probably didn't have the beginning of the match he was expecting, because I was playing well. But when I analyze the matches he played and when I saw how he won, I said, yes, he won against guys who were playing very far from the baseline.

So this gave him time to organize and he used his big shots. I never had many problems returning his shots. I knew that there would be rallies, and it was important for me to be close to him, to play hard against him, and use the advantages I have on clay.

This is exactly what I wanted to do, and it worked out. This is how I beat him the last nine times. I have the feeling that the other opponents let him play too much. This is what I tried not to let him do.

Q. I asked you the question on Friday, and you said, Ask me the question on Sunday. I can't remember what it was,though. Well, it was about did you have signs that it really was your year.

ROGER FEDERER: Yes. Well, the way I won the match against Acasuso and Tommy Haas gave me that feeling that this could be a good year. Then Rafa lost, and Djokovic had lost before that, so it didn't make much difference. But it allowed me to have greater hopes.

But there were moments when I was so close to losing. I feel it's just like Agassi when he won in his days. It's not that we're lucky, but we need to use luck when it's there. When I look at how I practice so hard,thinking I'm doing all this for Paris, for Roland Garros, everything came in at the right time.

Winning tight matches  showed me that, yes, maybe this is the good year.


After she lost in Rome, Kuznetsova left for Moscow, which disappointed her coaches at the Sanchez-Casals Tennis Academy. She told them she didn't want to train; furthermore, she didn't want to return to Spain. She was discontented, and so deeply that over the following months there were times when she wanted to quit tennis. "I never felt it," she remembered, "But I said it."

One of the people she said that to was her friend and confidant, Marat Safin. "I said, 'Marat,' I don't know, maybe I should not play. He said, 'Okay, are you crazy or what? You have unbelievable opportunities. You just have to play.'"

She really felt the urge to move back to Russia, to Moscow, a longing that panicked some of her acquaintances and advisers. "I had so many people telling me, you won't be able to play here (Moscow), you won't be able to train here, because it's too much information; it's too much destruction, too much night life, or whatever."

Kuznetsova lost in the first round at the Olympic Games in Beijing; given her deeply-felt and oft-expressed patriotism, it was a devastating blow. She lingered at the Olympics, and one day took a gaggle of Russian female basketball players to see the tennis. At the facility, they saw Roger Federer and appealed to Sveta to get Federer to pose for a picture with them.

Sveta rolled her eyes, just remembering the incident. "You know how I love Roger," she said, "and I never came to him myself to ask for a picture. But it's easier to do something like that for other people so I did go to him. And I was looking at him and he was looking at me and he said, 'What do you want?' "

When Sveta told him, he said, 'Sure, no problem,' and posed with the girls. He also had a 10-minute talk with Kuznetsova - the first conversation she'd ever had with the icon. She told him about the terrible time she was having making a decision about where to live, and she says he told her: "Look, it's up to you. You can only depend on yourself. You can control it. If you can live in Moscow and concentrate, do this. If you cannot. . .  only you can judge, you know."

Kuznetsova made her final decision to re-locate for good at the end of the year. She returned to Moscow and began to work hard; soon she hired a new coach; fittingly enough, it was the Billie Jean King of women's pro tennis in Russia, Olga Morozova. Although the relationship did not last (Morozova has since been replaced by former doubles specialist Larissa Savchenko), Kuznetsova gave Morozova, along with Savchenko, significant credit for her win today.

Me and Marat, we're similar - we hang out a lot, we talk about serious stuff. We go to places - I don't even want to get into what kind of places. . .  Marat and I, we still friends. He help me a lot last year, with agents and stuff. And he texted me after the match, 'Congratulations.'"

Nadal's reign in Paris comes to an end.


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