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Grand Slam Federer storms to French Open glory

Roger Federer gloriously completed a career Grand Slam on Sunday by capturing a record-equalling 14th major with a 6-1, 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 win over Robin Soderling in the French Open final.

The 27-year-old world number two finally won a Roland Garros crown at the 11th attempt and in his fourth successive final having come up heartbreakingly short in the last three showdowns against Spanish nemesis Rafael Nadal.

His victory, ironically over the Swedish 23rd seed who shocked four-time Nadal in the last 16, took him level with great friend Pete Sampras as the holder of 14 Grand Slam titles.

He also moved into a select group made up only of Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Andre Agassi as men who have won all four of the Grand Slam events.

"It was probably my greatest victory, I was under big pressure. I did it and it's phenomenal," said Federer who broke down in tears after being presented with the trophy by Agassi, the 1999 champion, and while the Swiss national anthem was played.

Soderling, who has now lost 10 times in 10 meetings with Federer, admitted the Swiss was a deserving winner. "Roger was too good for me today, he played much better. He is a worthy winner and for me he is the best player in history," said Soderling.

"He gave me a lesson in how to play tennis." Any doubts over Federer's ability to overcome his Paris jinx were quickly dashed as the Swiss star, playing in a record-equalling 19th Grand Slam final and riding a tidal wave of support, dominated Soderling.

He broke the first game on a Soderling double fault and was soon a second break to the good to lead 4-0 when a sweetly-timed drop shot left the Swede stranded behind the baseline.

Soderling, the first Swede in the Roland Garros final since his coach Magnus Norman finished runner-up to Gustavo Kuerten in 2000, stopped the rot with a hold to trail 4-1, but Federer quickly nipped further ahead to 5-1.

Soderling's uncompromising forehand, which was a dagger to the heart of Nadal, was looking more like a blunt instrument in the damp and chilly conditions.

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