Roger Federer's Roland Garros Miracle: A Historic Comeback for the Ages

Roger Federer produced a memorable comeback against Tommy Haas at Roland Garros 2009

by Jovica Ilic
Roger Federer's Roland Garros Miracle: A Historic Comeback for the Ages

Roger Federer claimed his only Roland Garros title in 2009. However, Federer's career Grand Slam dreams could have been over on June 1 in a thrilling battle against his good friend Tommy Haas. Roger trailed 7-6, 7-5, 4-3, 40-30 before bouncing back and earning a 6-7, 5-7, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 win in three hours and seven minutes!

Thus, Federer reached his sixth Roland Garros quarter-final and moved three wins from the title after his fifth comeback from two sets to love down. Roger and Tommy met for the 11th time, and the Swiss earned his ninth victory, the eighth in a row.

Haas entered Roland Garros with nine wins in 2009, playing well in Paris and achieving his best result in seven years. It could have been even better, with two sets to love advantage and a break chance in the third set's eighth game.

In one of the most essential points of his career, Federer fired a forehand winner to fend it off and earn a massive boost that would drive him toward the finish line. The Swiss claimed 15 of the final 17 games to race over the top and remain on the title course.

Roger had the numbers on his side after a one-sided scoreboard in sets four and five. He finished the encounter with 16 aces, fending off three out of five break points and limiting the damage in his games after a slower start.

Haas faced 15 break points and lost serve seven times, squandering a massive advantage and fading from the court in sets four and five. Federer was off to a flying start after six consecutive holds at love! Haas barely followed that pace after struggling on the second serve.

The German saved a break point in game six after a solid smash and served well in the remaining games to introduce a tie break after 40 minutes. Roger won 24 points in a row behind the initial shot before spraying a forehand error at the start of the tie break.

Tommy kept the mini-break until the end and fired two service winners to claim the breaker 7-4.

Roger Federer performed an incredible comeback against Tommy Haas in 2009.

Federer broke in the second set's third game and dominated until the eighth game when Haas created his first break point.

Tommy seized it after Roger's huge forehand error to lock the result at 4-4 and gain a boost. Federer served to stay in the set in the 12th game and sprayed another forehand mistake to lose serve and hand it to his rival, who opened a 7-6, 7-5 gap after an hour and 28 minutes.

The third set kicked off with seven easy holds on both sides. The eighth game proved fateful, with Tommy earning a break chance while leading 4-3. With no room for errors, Federer denied it with a forehand crosscourt winner and held for a massive escape and momentum.

Tommy suffered another big blow in game nine. He lost serve after squandering a 40-15 lead, and Roger wrapped up the set with a forehand winner at 5-4 to reduce the overall deficit and improve his position drastically. The German lost serve at the start of the fourth set, and Roger moved 3-0 up with a return winner in game three.

The Swiss was in complete control, securing his fourth consecutive break in the fifth game and delivering a bagel with a forehand winner on his serve at 5-0. Haas made two good holds at the start of the decider to regain at least something of his composure.

However, that was all we saw from him in this encounter. The veteran lost serve in game five after a forehand error that sealed his fate. Roger confirmed the break with three aces in a row in game six, charging and cracking a return winner in the next one to move 5-2 in front and serve for the victory in game eight.

Tommy was ready to fight until the very last point. He created a break chance with a forehand winner, and Roger saved it with a forehand drive volley winner. Federer seized his second match point with a service winner to start a massive celebration and continue toward the only Major he had been missing in his collection.

Roger Federer Roland Garros Tommy Haas