With Sunday's French Open victory over Swede Robin Soderling, Federer ties Pete Sampras for the most major championships and becomes the sixth player to win a career Grand Slam title. It was Federer's first French Open win in five finals appearances.<br> Here, SI.com offers some other famous sports breakthroughs:
2 of 17David E. Klutho/SI
Ray Bourque wins the Stanley Cup (2001)
Hoping to make a career-ending championship push, Bourque asked to be traded in 2000 after more than 20 seasons with the Boston Bruins. They obliged, and the Hall of Fame defenseman ended up winning the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche at the age of 40. It was a satisfying moment: Bourque had sat at the top of a frustrating list -- the most career games (1825) without winning a Stanley Cup.
3 of 17Walter Iooss Jr./SI
John Elway wins the Super Bowl (1998)
After years of gridiron heartbreak, Elway, at the advancing age of 37, captured his first Super Bowl in storybook fashion, a 31-24 victory over the heavily favored Green Bay Packers. It was Denver's first Super Bowl victory and Elway would go on to lead his team to a second Super Bowl win a year later. ''You wonder if you're going to run out of years,'' Elway said. ''But fortunately, I hung on.''
4 of 17Robert Beck/SI, Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Red Sox win World Series (2004)
Down 3-0 in the American League Championship Series against their pinstriped rivals from New York, the Red Sox mounted an unprecedented rally to win the pennant. They then crushed St. Louis to win the World Series, ending an 86-year drought for the Red Sox Nation faithful.
5 of 17AP
Phil Mickelson wins the Masters (2004)
After 17 career top 10s in the majors, including three straight third-place finishes at Augusta, Mickelson proved himself in the most audacious fashion imaginable: he birdied five of the last seven holes to finish with a 31 on the final nine on the final Sunday. "Now we can finally stamp him APPROVED," said Davis Love III, a close friend of Mickelson's. "It's like a...what's the right word?... It's like a coronation."
6 of 17Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Joey Cheshnut beats Takeru Kobayashi at Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest (2007)
The king died on the bun. American eating machine Chestnut knocked off six-time winner Kobayashi by inhaling a world-record 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. The two went frank-for frank (Kobayshi finished with 63 hot dogs eaten) over a furious 12 minutes.
7 of 17Damian Strohmeyer/SI, Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
The modern-day Celtics win the NBA title (2008)
Behind the "Big Three" trio of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Finals MVP Paul Pierce, Boston defeated the Lakers for their 17th NBA title. It was the franchise's first championship in 22 years.
8 of 17David E. Klutho/SI
The New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup (1994)
The drought had become a chant -- opposing fans taunted the franchise with cries of "1940, 1940," the last time the Rangers had won the Stanley Cup. But that ended in 1994 when the Rangers, behind the inspirational play of captain Mark Messier, beat the Vancouver Canucks in a thrilling 3-2 victory in Game 7 in the finals. As the New York Times reported: "Tears and champagne flowed. A fan held up a sign that said "Now, I Can Die in Peace."
9 of 17David E. Klutho/SI
Roy Williams wins an NCAA title (2005)
For so long he had been the most successful college coach without a title: Williams had been to four Final Fours and two national championship games during 15 years at Kansas. But a return to his alma mater provided the ultimate prize: North Carolina's 75-70 victory over Illinois gave Williams his long-awaited national championship.
10 of 17John D. Hanlon/SI
Jerry West wins an NBA title (1972)
Prior to the 1971-72 season, West, now 33, was considering retirement. Despite individual success, he had never tasted an NBA championship in 12 seasons. But the 1972 season proved to be special: The Lakers finished 69-13, the best single-season record in NBA history at the time. In the finals, Los Angels rolled over the Knicks in five games. West later won multiple titles as an executive with the Lakers.
11 of 17John Biever/SI
The Chicago White Sox win the World Series (2005)
The Sox won a World Series for the first time since World War I, beating the Houston Astros in a four-game sweep. The team had not won a Series since 1917 and hadn't played in one since 1959. The 88 years between the White Sox win in 1917 was the longest gaps between World Series titles in major league history.
12 of 17Al Tielemans/SI, Simon Bruty/SI
Peyton Manning and Tong Dungy win the Super Bowl (2007)
Both Manning and Dungy shared a similar reputation: Talented practitioners who could not win the big game. Dungy's Colts lost in the playoffs to the eventual Super Bowl champions three years running: 2003 and 2004 to New England, and 2005 to Pittsburgh. The fates changed on Feb. 4, 2007 with a 29-17 victory over the Chicago Bears. Manning hit 25 of 38 passes for 247 yards with one touchdown and one interception and was named the game's MVP.
13 of 17AP
The Brooklyn Dodgers win the World Series (1955)
After losing to the hated Yankees in 1947, 1949, 1952 and 1953, Dem Bums finally did it in 1955, vanquishing their rivals in seven games. Brooklyn won a taut Game 7 (and the franchise's first World Series title) behind the clutch pitching of Johnny Podres, who never again had to buy a drink in Brooklyn.
14 of 17Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld win an NBA title (1978)
Despite individual success, future Hall of Famers Hayes and Unseld remained ringless in their first 10 years in the NBA. That changed in 1978, when Hayes averaged 21.8 points for the Bullets during the postseason and Unseld was named the Finals MVP in a victory over the SuperSonics in seven games.
15 of 17Ronald C. Modra/SI, Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Roger Clemens wins the World Series (1999)
The Yankees won their record 25th championship and third in four seasons but it was a particularly satisfying for Clemens, who won his first title after five Cy Young Awards and 247 wins in 16 seasons. Clemens pitched in the clinching Game 4, getting a win with a strong performance: four hits and one earned run over 7.2 innings.
16 of 17AP
Jim Boeheim wins an NCAA men's basketball title (2003)
During his 27 seasons as head coach at his alma mater, Boeheim had achieved remarkable success, but was 0-2 in the national championship. Then came freshman Carmelo Anthony, who led the Orange on a dream run in 2003. Anthony finished with 20 points, had 10 rebounds and seven assists in a 81-78 victory over Kansas that gave Boeheim his first national championship.
17 of 17Chuck Solomon/SI, Al Tielemans/SI
Phillies win the World Series (2008)
The Phillies defeated the Rays four games to one in the 2008 World Series to claim the city's first major sports championship in 25 years. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins summed up the city's relief. "It's over," Rollins said. "It's over, man."
You May Like
More More Sports
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!