The new champ's excitement knocked him to his knees. He fell to the red clay at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris and brought his hands to his face, celebrating his victory at the French Open. It looked like Federer had just won his first major tennis tournament. But this wasn't Federer's first major win. It was his 14th.
14 Slams: The biggest tennis tournaments of the year are called Grand Slam events. This group includes the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Winning one of these tournaments just once is the mark of a great player. To win more than one makes somebody an elite player. To win 14? That makes you an all-time legend. Federer has now won the Australian Open three times, the French Open once, Wimbledon five times and the U.S. Open five times.
Sampras: There is only one other player who has won 14 Grand Slam events. That was Pete Sampras, an American who dominated tennis in the 1990s. With Federer's win in France, he ties Sampras atop the all-time list. Federer, who is from Switzerland, will try to break the record at Wimbledon, which starts in late June.
Frustrated in France: Until this month, Federer was never able to win the French Open. That's largely because of Rafael Nadal, Federer's rival. The French Open is the only major tournament played on clay, and Nadal has been the best clay player in the world. In fact, he beat Federer in the French Open finals in 2006, 2007 and 2008. However, Nadal didn't reach the finals this year and Federer was able to win the event. After many years of near misses, Federer was finally able to add the French Open to his list of victories. That's why he was so excited when he won. He set a goal and worked very hard to achieve it. It took a few years, but he got there.
All eyes will be on Federer when he takes the grass court at Wimbledon later this month. Right now, Federer is among the best players ever to hold a racquet. If he wins Wimbledon, he will stand alone as the best.
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