Eighth Dubai title lands another slice of history to Federer's legacy
Sunday 3 March 2019 12:12, UK
When you are Roger Federer, landmarks and records tend to follow, by even by the legendary Swiss' standards, victory in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships broke new ground as he claimed his 100th ATP title.
Having been knocked out of the Australian Open by Stefanos Tsitsipas with a surprise fourth-round defeat in the year's opening major, Federer gained revenge with a dominant 6-4 6-4 victory that makes him just the second man to reach three figures for singles titles.
Jimmy Connors (109) is the only other man to achieve the feat in the professional era and Federer has been stuck on 99 since his lifting the trophy in Basel in October, but Saturday's win adds another achievement to his incredible list of feats.
"It was all very, very worthwhile, the sacrifice," Federer told the ATP Tour website.
"We'll see how much I've got left in the tank, but reaching 100 is definitely an absolute dream come true for me.
"I'm so happy I'm still playing. It's been a long, wonderful journey and it all started as a junior world champion. It's been great. I wouldn't do it any differently. I've loved every minute."
The 37-year-old has won more men's Grand Slam singles titles than anyone else, winning his 20th with success in Melbourne last year so his next goal is to add major No 21 but for now he can bask in the glory of yet another title triumph.
More than 18 years after beating Julien Boutter to claim his first title in Milan in February 2001, Federer brought up the century with a typically classy display, needing just 69 minutes to demolish the 20-year-old Greek sensation.
A single break in each set backed up by a dominant performance on his own serve was enough for Federer to claim an eighth Dubai title and with it a win that will move him back up to world No 4 on Monday.
"I'm delighted. It's great to win my eighth here in Dubai and in combination with my 100th singles title," Federer said in his on-court interview that saw him also shower praise on his talented, yet vanquished opponent.
"To win in Marseille and then come here was difficult for Stefanos. I don't know if Stefanos was born when I won my first title.
"It's a privilege because I'll be watching them on the TV. It was a treat to play Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. I'm sure Stefanos will have a wonderful career - tennis is in good hands regardless if I'm there or not."
Tsitsipas' run in Dubai means he will rise into the world's top 10 for the first time on Monday while Federer will head for Indian Wells looking to pick up a first Masters crown since 2017 and he seems in the mood for more landmarks.
20 - Grand slam titles (8 Wimbledon titles, 6 Australian Opens, 5 US Opens, 1 French Open)
27 - Masters 1000 titles (7 Cincinnati, 6 Madrid, 5 Indian Wells, 3 Miami, 3 Shanghai, 2 Canada, 1 Paris)
22 - ATP 500 titles
25 - ATP 250 titles
6 - ATP Finals titles, an all-time record.
24 - Consecutive finals won between October 2003 and November 2005.
12 - Titles won in 2006, Federer's most prolific season.
9 - Gerry Weber Open (Halle) and the Swiss Indoors (Basel)
8 - Dubai Tennis Championship
69 - Hard Court titles
18 - Grass Court titles
11 - Clay Court titles
2 - Carpet Court titles.
The tennis world was out in force to pay tribute to Federer's latest achievement, from the tournaments he has won to the players he has beaten, everyone was full of praise.....
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