Roger Federer never doubted he would one day end his French Open jinx even when many people were writing off his chances of ever winning the one Grand Slam title missing from his collection.
Grand Slam finals defeats to claycourt nemesis Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros last year followed by crushing losses to him at Wimbledon and the Australian Open at the start of this year left the Swiss star open to barbs that at 27 he was on the decline.
It was perplexing he agrees, but he never lost faith that he could finally win that elusive 14th Grand Slam title to draw level with Pete Sampras.
“People talked a lot about me having lost my grip and stuff. To some degree I guess it’s true, because I lost my No. 1 ranking,” he said after his historic 6-1 7-6 (7/1) 6-4 win over Sweden’s Robin Soderling to complete his Grand Slam set.
“But I didn’t fall out of the top 10 or the top 100. I still played very consistent, especially at the Grand Slam level. My record shows it.
“I had issues last year. We all know what they were (back injury). People sometimes don’t give you time to actually let them heal or let you figure them out.
“I was happy with my level of play. I thought I played great in Australia. It was also a good tournament in Indian Wells and Miami until I played Murray and Djokovic and all those guys where all of a sudden my game completely left me for some reason. I didn’t know why," he said.