From winning his 14th Grand Slam in the French Open...
Ultimately nothing was going to stop Federer gliding back to where he belongs. Not just again to the top of tennis but, beyond, at the summit of all sport as the world's pre-eminent athlete. The acclamation for his emotional landmark triumph here at Roland Garros could not have been more universal.
Yes, people are in awe of Tiger Woods's wizardry and resilience, they laugh open-mouthed at Usain Bolt's athleticism and marvel at Michael Phelps's greedy annexation of titles.
But yesterday, it was possible to sense from the reaction of everyone here something extra for an athlete who showcased all those trio's qualities so effortlessly again; that is, a deep affection bordering on adoration for a man who demonstrates, more conclusively than almost anyone, that nice guys can be winners. Supreme winners. - source
“He’s never shown us with pressure that he won’t step up,” said 1999 Roland Garros champion Andre Agassi who presented Federer with the winner’s trophy. “He had to deal with this one guy named Nadal who has been his Achilles heel, but every time it was thought he would not step to the plate again or that the achievements and the records would get the better of him, he’s always risen to the occasion.”Federer had been seriously tested this year, losing a heartbreaking final to Nadal at the Australian Open, suffering a back injury and taking losses to Murray at Doha and at Indian Wells, to Stanislas Wawrinka in Monte Carlo and to Djokovic and Miami and Rome. He returned to form in Madrid, scoring his first win over Nadal in five matches and when he arrived in Paris, he felt that he could negotiate the rough waters. He may have been roughed up along the way, but his spirit was not broken.“That's the true test of a champion and it's so fitting that he won here,” Agassi said. “He deserved it, earned it, he's come across in a generation where he was the second greatest clay courter for five years and dominating everyone except one guy. You can call it unlucky or say he stepped up to the plate and he dealt with his challenges and achieved it.”
...The world No 2 became only the sixth man to win all Grand Slam titles and just the second, after Agassi, to win majors on all four surfaces (both Agassi and Federer won Australian Opens on Rebound Ace before the tournament switched to a more traditional hard court two years ago). Whether he is the greatest player ever will be debated well into the next decade, but he is certainly a major part of the conversation now and at the age of 27, might well have a few more majors left in him. After all, Sampras won his 14th crown when he was 31.Perhaps the last word should be left to Federer’s opponent on Sunday. “I’ve never played anyone playing that fast,” said Soderling. “He's a great player. He doesn't have any weaknesses at all. He really deserves to be called the best player of all time.” - source
to winning his 15th Grand Slam in the Wimbledon....
This was the day when Andy Roddick’s serve was broken just the once, in the 77th game of a 77-game Wimbledon men’s final. That one break of Roddick’s delivery, after more than four and a quarter hours of play on Centre Court, was all that Roger Federer needed to take the fifth set 16-14, to become the first man to win 15 grand slams, and to regain the world No 1 ranking.
“Roger is a legend, an icon and a stud,” said Pete Sampras, who had flown in from California to sit in the front row of the Royal Box to see his 14 slams being superseded. - source
This may not have been Federer at his most artistic but it was Federer at his most ferociously determined.
Poor Roddick tried everything he knew – and lots that he had not known until he hired Stefanki – to chase his Swiss rival but Federer was unshakeable. He soaked up every charge and attack from the American and looked calm and collected as he did so. And with the advantage of serving first in the deciding set, he could leave Roddick to feel the tension while he concentrated on breaking the American’s serve for the first time in the match.
The longer that set went on, the better Federer looked. As Roddick started to tire, the Swiss kept up the pressure. He swatted away two break points in the 17th game and suddenly looked as relaxed and as fresh as if this were the first set. Roddick could not catch him and he knew it. As he started to pick away at Roddick’s serve, Roddick knew it, too. - source
- Roger Federer is now hailed as the greatest tennis player in the world with 15 Grand Slam titles, surpassing Pete Sampras' 14 Grand Slam titles.
- He is now back to being the Number 1 seed.
- The finals game lasted for more than four hours. The final set scores were 16-14.
- This was the longest Wimbledon final of all time, plus the longest final played at any of the four majors, and the 30-game fifth set was the longest played in a title-match at the majors