Federer French Open triumph may be slow to sink in

June 8th, 2009 - 1:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Roger Federer Paris, June 8 (DPA) Roger Federer was only starting to realise late Sunday his remarkable success of winning Roland Garros after years of trying and three finals lost to Rafael Nadal.
“It’s an unbelievable achievement,” said the Swiss after joining Pete Sampras with the all-time record of 14 Grand Slam singles crowns with his 6-1, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 title victory over Swede Robin Soderling.

“I’m very proud of my career, obviously, I achieved more than I ever thought I would. My dream as boy was to win Wimbledon one day - I won that five times like one wasn’t enough.”

But the 27-year-old father-to-be said that finally coming through at Roland Garros was a long slow process, intensified perhaps by the domination of Rafael Nadal which ended a week ago to Soderling in the fourth round.

“This victory sort of came up over the last few years when I realised what a great player I could actually become. In the beginning I had such a hard time getting used to the conditions here and just not feeling right for some reason.

“I had a lot of difficulties playing well on center court because the court was so big.

“I’ve come a long way. To get it at the end as the last remaining Grand Slam, it’s an incredible feeling. I’m, of course, very proud at this very moment.”

Federer, known for ice-calm nerves, admitted to the jitters as he moved towards the end of his rout over Soderling. “I was very nervous at the beginning of the third set because I realised 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,” he said.

“It was an emotional roller coaster for me,” he added.

“I always believed in my chances to win Paris or any Grand Slam, it’s really for those that I tried to keep myself most fit.

“That was also one of the reasons why I took six weeks off after the Australian Open. Let everything heal and let everything settle, and then I came back very strong.”

“I’m very, very happy right now,” he said.

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