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Page last updated at 15:34 GMT, Sunday, 7 June 2009 16:34 UK

Federer v Soderling as it happened


To get involved text us on 81111 with TENNIS before your message. (Not all contributions can be used; UK mobiles only; network rates apply)

By Piers Newbery

It's good news for a Briton
1625: Well, that's it from me, do come back to the BBC Sport website later for quotes and reaction. Thanks for all your texts and 606 thoughts, what a fantastic two weeks - I would say I'm going to miss it but tomorrow we're off to west London and Queen's Club, which will be live on BBC TV, streamed on the website (UK only) and on 5 Live. May it never end.

1622: The tears are flowing, and not just from Roger. I've got something in my eye though. "You really gave me a tennis lesson today, " says Soderling. "But for next time we play, nobody can beat me 11 times in a row," he jokes. Nice. "Bonjour," says Federer, showing off his French again. "It's nice to be here as a winner."

Roger Federer
1617: Andre Agassi - the last man to complete the career Grand Slam back in 1999 at Roland Garros - is out for the presentation ceremony. It's all about one man though, and Federer comes forward and hoists the trophy above his head to join Agassi, Budge, Perry, Laver and Emerson as a winner of all four Grand Slam titles. He also matches Pete Sampras's mark of 14 Grand Slam titles.

Text in your views on 81111
1614: "Well done Federer. A quite breathtaking display to deservedly join the illustrious crowd who have won all four majors."
From Will, Oxford, via text on 81111

1613: "Fantastic performance from Roger with a lot of pressure on his shoulders. Robin I hope will not be a one-hit wonder, he's been a revelation this tournament. But the right player won, no question about it. Greatest of all time now, no question about it."
From BulletMonkey on 606

1612: "I had the two best weeks of my career but to me Roger is the best player in history," says Soderling.

1609: Federer falls to his knees in celebration before moving to the net and tearfully exchanging words with Soderling. "It's incredible," he says in French. That much I know.


Federer 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 Soderling
"He's surely got to be feeling some nerves here," says John Lloyd on BBC TWO. Maybe, with an error for 15-15, but as he has done all day the Swiss finds a big serve for 30-15. Federer goes for a very ambitious backhand winner down the line and misses, 30-30, and then slams a drive-volley over the baseline. Break point... and Soderling frames it somewhere into central Paris. Federer moves his man out wide with a backhand and puts away the volley. Championship point... and a service winner does it!

Federer * 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 5-4 Soderling
Soderling pumps his fist when a blistering backhand moves him 30-0 clear. Federer half-volleys a backhand off his toes from the baseline to get back to 40-30 down but goes for too much on the next return and the Swiss will have to serve this one out. Squeaky bum time. And that's just me.

Federer 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 5-3 * Soderling
If the nerves are going to hit Federer they had better get a move on. Soderling pegs him back with an impressive backhand down the line and an ugly mistimed forehand from Federer makes it 30-30. Another tense moment... and Federer hits a screamer of a forehand right onto the line, and takes it with a service winner.

Get involved on 606
1555: "This reminds me of the Fed - Murray US Open final last year. Soderling hasn't done a lot wrong, Federer has just been too good. He's been immense."
From DeleriumDon6345 on 606

Federer * 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 4-3 Soderling
A fine swinging forehand into the corner takes Soderling to 40-15 but he puts himself under pressure again with an error. A big serve comes to the rescue and the Swede cuts the deficit.

Federer 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 4-2 * Soderling
Oh yes. Federer rolls through another service game, rounding it off with an ace, and the crowd have made their mind up - this one's over, it's party time.

Federer * 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 3-2 Soderling
A very solid hold to 15 for Soderling but he needs to do more than that now, and Federer appears to be saving his energy for three more service games of his own.

Text in your views on 81111
1546: "Re: 15 36. 'weak era'?! Roddick (a few years back), Nadal, Novak, Murray. If that's weak I can't wait until we get a strong one!"R From Jim, trying to revise, via text on 81111

Federer 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 3-1 * Soderling
At 30-30 it feels like a chance for Soderling, bearing in mind how little he has achieved on the Federer serve today, and the alarm bells are ringing for the Swiss when he belts an absolute sitter long to give up the break point..... but Federer does not make the same mistake at the key moment, hammering away a similar forehand and going on to hold. A big moment.

Federer * 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 2-1 Soderling
Soderling gets a momentary break from the pummelling as Federer fails to get anywhere on return. Maybe the rain can save the Swede, it's coming down a bit more heavily now.

Get involved on 606
1536: "Waaay easier than I thought, but someone had to put Soderling back in his place. Congrats to Federer, weak era or not (for those that still argue that), there is really no doubt now that he's the greatest ever."
From fedjon13 on 606

Federer 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 2-0 * Soderling
Soderling cannot make a return on the first two points as Federer moves 30-0 up. The Swede then wins a lengthy rally as both men hit the ball beautifully from the baseline, but it does little good as Federer wallops an ace and forces an error to hold.

Federer * 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 1-0 Soderling
"Have you ever seen a better tie-break," said Mark Petchey on BBC Two at the end of the second set. No, would be my answer. Soderling needs a miracle, but a slightly fortuitous backhand smash will do as he moves to 30-15. Federer will not give him any rest though and responds with a cross-court forehand pass, and on break point Soderling double-faults. That could be that.

Text in your views on 81111
1530: "Roger needs this to eliminate any doubt regarding his claim as the greatest ever. Maybe he isn't yet but with a slam he will be close."
From Kimo, Doncaster, via text on 81111


Federer 6-1 7-6 (7-1) * Soderling
Well, Federer went into that with a 6-1 tie-break record against Soderling and it was pretty quickly evident that he was going to improve that. A drop shot and a fourth ace seal it. Incredible.

1524: Three aces and a cross-court forehand help Federer to the changeover at 5-1 in front.

Federer * 6-1 6-6 Soderling
Federer works an opening before arrowing a beautiful backhand winner down the line for 0-15, but Soderling responds with a couple of huge forehands. However, Federer plays the shot of the day with a running forehand down the line for deuce, and a similar backhand down the other tramline does the same two points later. Soderling does well to smack down a big ace and forces an error to hold, and he looks ready to put up a fight in the tie-break.

John Lloyd
1515: "It's mostly down to brilliance from Federer but I also think the heavy conditions have stopped Soderling hitting the clean winners he managed throughout the tournament," says John Lloyd on BBC TWO.

Federer 6-1 6-5 * Soderling
Ace number seven and a Soderling forehand that is pulled into the tramlines get Federer off to another good start on serve, and he follows up with an ace and a forehand winner. Brilliant stuff.

Federer * 6-1 5-5 Soderling
That's more like it from Soderling, swatting away a mid-court forehand and making a winning smash for a love-service game.

Federer 6-1 5-4 * Soderling
Federer remains totally dominant on serve, powering to 40-0 and taking it after missing with a high drive-volley. Federer's wife Mirka claps away merrily while seemingly wrapped in a towel in the stands. Quite a way to spend the latter stages of pregnancy.

Federer * 6-1 4-4 Soderling
Soderling misses with a backhand down the line and a regulation forehand to slip to 15-30, as the rain begins to fall quite heavily. The Swede could be excused for asking to stop and he gets a bit lucky when Federer misses with a very makeable attempted forehand pass. Soderling then makes a a backhand winner and thumps a forehand for a big hold. The rain abates for the moment.

Federer 6-1 4-3 * Soderling
"Jeu, Federer." Another dreamy forehand drop shot and an ace give the world number two a comfortable hold and Soderling has not had a sniff on the Federer serve yet.

Federer * 6-1 3-3 Soderling
Soderling just cannot get going and double-faults for 15-15 before missing the easiest of smashes, but a couple of solid forehand volleys steady the Swede and he recovers to hold serve. Some bad news is that a few umbrellas have gone up and apparently it's drizzling. And a manual refresh will correct any score aberrations - I blame the flag-waving loon.

Federer 6-1 3-2 * Soderling
With order restored, Federer plays another excellent service game and holds to 30, forcing a forehand error from Soderling on game point. "Roger, Roger," goes the chant.

Federer * 6-1 2-2 Soderling
Play resumes, with Federer looking a little shell-shocked, and Soderling holds.

1450: A spectator/intruder runs onto court waving a flag, bounds up to Federer, who is about to serve, and attempts to put a flag around his neck, I think. Genuinely shocking how close he gets to Federer before security guards run on and rugby tackle him. There will be more said about that event afterwards, I'm sure.

Federer 6-1 2-1 * Soderling
A forehand drop shot gets Soderling scampering in vain again and Federer seals another game with an ace. "He once said he thought a forehand drop shot felt like a joke shot, yet for the last two years he's incorporated it into his tennis impressively," says Mark Petchey on BBC Two.

Federer * 6-1 1-1 Soderling
Another excellent return wins Federer the opening point but Soderling finds a bit of range on serve to get out of trouble and gain some sort of foothold in the match.

Text in your views on 81111
1442: "Soderling has always been a confidence player. His confidence has been smashed. He's down and we'll have to wait for the second set to see if he's out."
From anon via text on 81111

Federer 6-1 1-0 * Soderling
Hmmm. Federer opens with a double-fault - a chance for Soderling? Mais, non. The world number two resumes his magnificent serving to reel off four straight points.
* denotes NEXT server

John Lloyd
1439: "Stunning," says John Lloyd on BBC TWO. "That's the best set we've seen from him this fortnight. He's been up and down - against Acasuso, Haas and Del Potro - but to start off this match like he has done is quite extraordinary. Soderling has to get back into the match somehow."


Federer * 6-1 Soderling
Federer jams another return back at Soderling's sizeable feet and the Swede is rooted to the spot as he falls to 15-30. A sweeping Federer forehand into the corner takes it to 15-40 and two set points.... Soderling saves the first with a big serve, but Federer wraps it up with a fizzing backhand cross-court pass.

Federer 5-1 * Soderling
An ace and a sublime forehand into the corner ease Federer 40-0 clear again and he holds to love. "Truly inspired stuff from Federer so far," says Mark Petchey on BBC TWO.

Federer * 4-1 Soderling
The serve and the forehand have taken Soderling past Nadal, Davydenko and Gonzalez in the last week, but they are misfiring so far today. Two more errors and he's 15-30 down, but the Swede finds an ace out wide and gets on the scoreboard when Federer nets a forehand.

Federer 4-0 * Soderling
Federer opens with an ace and Soderling puts a straightforward forehand into the tramlines to give the Swiss a 40-15 lead. The Swede then hammers another forehand long and this is going very badly wrong for the 23rd seed right now.

Get involved on 606
1425: "Poor Soderling. He looks like a dear caught in the headlights."
From FourKingAce on 606

Federer * 3-0 Soderling
After many years of avoiding the drop shot, Federer has really taken to it at Roland Garros this year. It helped him past Del Potro in the semis and a second one of the day takes him to 0-30. Soderling nets a forehand for 15-40 and Federer breaks with a slightly mistimed forehand return that Soderling appears to leave. It lands on the line. "That's a bad error of judgement," says John Lloyd on BBC TWO.

Federer 2-0 * Soderling
It's a very impressive start from Federer, who hits an ace, a superb cross-court backhand and a killer drop shot for a love hold.

Federer * 0-1 Soderling
We get a superb first rally that ends with a Soderling error - and a massive cheer from the crowd. Bit harsh on Super Rob, that. The Swede then goes long with a backhand for 0-30, but two backhand errors from Federer level it up. Both men are cracking some big forehands but Soderling goes for too much to fall 30-40 and break point down... and the Swede double-faults to give Federer the break. "Allez!" scream about 14,990 people.
* denotes NEXT server

1413: Here we go, Soderling to serve....

Text in your views on 81111
1411: "Roger's got to win... hasn't he!?!?!? 5 sets (to make up for yesterday, please)!"
From Joanna, abandoning essay for the tennis, via text on 81111

1410: "C'mon Roger. The greatest player EVER. He must win today. Just must. Surpass Sampras and take his place in history. C'mon!"
From Mary, at work, via text

Get involved on 606
1410: "As soon as Nadal went out to Soderling, Federer knew that this was his chance to get his first Grand Slam in France. Federer has shown his quality and determination against Del Potro, let's hope he can show the class he did in the last two sets."
From Sakaria2 on 606

1407: We're into the knock-up and six-time champion Bjorn Borg looks on from the stands. The Swede watched Federer fail to surpass his five straight Wimbledon titles last year and has seen Nadal fail to go past his four straight French Open wins this year. He must be secretly chuffed about that.

1403: The players line up in the tunnel and Soderling says, "I've been playing extremely well for two weeks, I always had a lot of fun playing Roger and to do it in a Grand Slam final will be great." Federer speaks in French - show-off - but I think he says, "I've had a lot of big matches on this court, I hope I can play well." A huge cheer for the Swiss as he walks onto Court Philippe Chatrier to some dramatic music and plenty of support for Soderling too.

Bjorn Borg
1401: Soderling can also make his mark on history today by becoming the fourth Swede to win at Roland Garros after Sven Davidson (1957) Bjorn Borg (1974-75, 1978-81) and Mats Wilander (1982, 1985, 1988). A win would also rocket him up the rankings from 25 to number nine in the world.

Roger Federer
1359: The stats backing Federer are as impressive as they are endless but one caught my eye - despite his recent difficulties against the likes of Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, the world number two is appearing in his fifth consecutive Grand Slam final and 15th in the last 16 Grand Slam tournaments.

1357: After 11 years of trying, Federer surely has his best ever chance to win the French Open as he takes on Swedish 23rd seed Soderling in today's men's singles final at Roland Garros. A victory would also make the Swiss only the sixth man to complete the career Grand Slam, and draw him level with Pete Sampras's record of 14 Grand Slam titles in total. Standing in his way, a man playing in his first tour level clay-court final, first outdoor final, who had never been past the third round of a Grand Slam before this week, and who has a 0-9 record against the Swiss. No contest, surely? Well, that's probably what Rafael Nadal thought.

It's raining
The sun is out
1354: As well as the hand of history, I have also felt an icy wind and quite a bit of rain on my shoulder already today. I'm told it's been "sunshine, fluffy white clouds and plenty of blue skies" all morning in Paris, but it's clouding over a bit now and we can't rule out interruptions I'm afraid.

1350: Good afternoon. I don't know about you but I feel the hand of history on my shoulder today, and I'm not talking about the final of The Apprentice. We are 10 minutes away from seeing Roger Federer face Robin Soderling in the French Open final, and it will be live on BBC Two, streamed on this website (UK only), 5 Live (from 1430 BST), and via the magic of text right here.

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