Roger Federer on Sunday night looked back on his historic title success at the French Open and declared: "It was meant to be."
The Swiss completed his haul of grand-slam titles and moved level with Pete Sampras on a record 14 Majors by posting a 6-1 7-6 (7/1) 6-4 victory over Robin Soderling thanks to a near flawless display in rainy conditions in Paris.
"I do feel like it was meant to be," said a glowing Federer. "I was in desperate situations this tournament. The terrible rain, the swirly winds and the dangerous opponent (today) was just part of it. I was able to handle it for two weeks."
After struggling for form throughout the tournament as the pressure built and his chief rivals - Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray - were all eliminated, Federer saved his best performance for last.
After losing the last three finals here to Nadal, Federer finally got his hands on an elusive title that was threatening to overshadow his illustrious career.
Federer, the second seed here, joins Fred Perry, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Andre Agassi as the only men to have won all four grand slams. Picking up a sixth Wimbledon crown this summer will allow him to surpass Sampras' amazing record.
He added: "That almost gets forgotten - it's an incredible feeling reaching 14 and not being derailed by losing grand slam finals to Rafa (at Roland Garros and Wimbledon last year and the Australian Open this year).
"Equalling Pete's record here in Paris is unbelievable. And Andre (Agassi), the last man to win all four Majors, giving me the trophy seems just very fitting in a way."
Federer admitted he went through an "emotional rollercoaster" as he closed in on victory against Soderling.
"It was very hard mentally for me to stay in the match," he said. "My mind was always wondering, 'What if, what if?' You can't help it. They (the thoughts) kept on coming back."