Monday, June 8, 2009

Federer Downs Soderling to Complete Career Slam

It is no secret that I was far from thrilled by Roland Garros this year, starting with Marat Safin’s second round loss to Ouanna, and up until Fernando Gonzalez’ 5-set defeat to Robin Soderling after leading 3-0 in the fifth. Needless to say, watching a French Open quarterfinal lineup without Rafael Nadal was incomprehensible to me, but putting aside all my disappointments (including Dinara Safina of course), I must admit the tournament delivered at the very end and history was made nonetheless.

Watching Roger Federer let out of a cry of joy and fall to the ground today on Philipp Chatrier after beating surprise finalist, Soderling, in straight sets, had a very strong and emotional effect on me. I have always respected the Swiss, despite my obvious bias towards Nadal throughout the years, but today Federer went a single step farther than he had gone the past 3 years and just like that, history has been made, or has been equaled at least. And what more would one ask for from a tournament?!?!

It is not important who Federer beat in the final, nor is it important whom he beat en route. The world number 2 has now won all 4 slams, has matched Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles, and now has further proof to consolidate his place as the greatest of all time, a position he can safely boast to his soon-to-arrive child.

It’s weird how one extra step has silenced everyone’s doubts about Federer, who has reached the last straight 20 Grand Slam semis and had contested the last 3 Roland Garros finals, yet still many people needed this title to put the GOAT label on the Swiss, and restore their faith in him.

Well seeing him receive that trophy from another great, who was the last one to win all 4 slams, Andre Agassi, made me grateful once again for being able to witness history in the making, and I must admit, I am hopeful that Rafa can achieve the same feat of completing a career slam, by winning the US Open this year.

Congratz to Fed and to my party-pooper, Soderling (who was surprisingly nice today although his speech could have been shorter), and now I can switch my focus to praying for Rafa’s knees.

Before I forget, I’d like to congratulate Svetlana Kutznetsova, who after almost 5 years, proved that she still knows how to win a Grand Slam. And 2 is always better than 1. I just hope Safina doesn’t become a headcase and give up on her search for her first slam. I wonder what’s in those Safin genes?!?! They’re very hard to understand let alone predict.

The grass season kicks off Monday in Halle and Queen’s. I love how the tour switches surfaces instantly. It’s fun for us fans but probably not so much for the actual players. Right now am hoping Rafa recovers for Wimbledon because I’m going to be there for the first time and I can’t bear to be there if he can’t attempt to defend his title.


Federer's speech


Kamil said...

Counting on 5 sets, I was still on my way back from work when the Fed made history.
One more reason to quit my job.

Reem said...

Hey Kimiii..

And of all the reasons this has got to be the most important one...