Roger Federer (Switzerland) Tennis, 28
The year 2009 proved to be a historic one for Roger Federer as he passed many tennis milestones. His victory over Robin Soderling at the French Open made him one of only six men to have completed a career Grand Slam of Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open titles. His sixth Wimbledon victory in July, in which he beat American Andy Roddick in a classic final, gave him a new record of 15 Grand Slam victories, overtaking the long-standing record of Pete Sampras. At the US Open, Federer reached his 21st Grand Slam final, another record, by defeating No 4 seed Novak Djokovic in the semi-final, during which he played what he described as ‘the greatest shot I ever hit in my life’ – a between-the-legs passing shot which gave him match point. However he lost to Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in the final, breaking a streak of 40 straight wins at the US Open.