The year 2009 proved to be a historic one for Switzerland’s Roger Federer as he passed many tennis milestones.
His victory over Robin Soderling at the French Open made him one of only six men to have completed a career Grand Slam of Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open titles – joining Andre Agassi, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Don Budge and Fred Perry. There was joy and relief as he lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires at Roland Garros in Paris, having lost in the three previous French Open finals.
His sixth Wimbledon victory in July, in which he beat American Andy Roddick in a classic final, gave him a new record of 15 Grand Slam wins, overtaking the long-standing record of Pete Sampras. The final score was 5–7, 7–6, 7–6, 3–6, 16–14, and the total of 30 games in the fifth set was a new Grand Slam record. The match was also the longest men's singles final in Grand Slam history in terms of games played, with 77. The fifth set alone lasted 95 minutes.
At the US Open, Roger reached his 21st Grand Slam final, another record, by defeating No 4 seed Novak Djokovic in the semi-final, during which he played what he described as ‘the greatest shot I ever hit in my life’ – a between-the-legs passing shot which gave him match point. However he lost to Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in the final, breaking a streak of 40 straight wins at the US Open.