Roger Federer claimed the 100th ATP title of his career by beating 20-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4 in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion became the second man in the Open Era to claim 100 titles after American Jimmy Connors who won 109.
Swiss great Federer also avenged his shock defeat by Tsitsipas in the Australian Open fourth round in January.
Welcome to the “ Triple Digit” tournament victory club @rogerfederer — I’ve been a bit lonely- glad to have the company !!!
— Jimmy Connors (@JimmyConnors) March 2, 2019
“I’m delighted. It’s great to win my eighth here in Dubai and in combination with my 100th singles title,” Federer said.
“It’s been a difficult week for me, tough opponents throughout but credit to Stefanos as well, he played a great tournament.
“As for records, we live in an age where every record has to be shattered, but not for me. We’ll see how much more I have left in the tank, but reaching 100 is a dream and tonight was a very special evening, but it’s not about breaking every single record.”
Federer, who had been stuck on 99 titles since triumphing at his hometown Basel tournament in October, broke Tsitsipas in the first game of the match and saved two break points at 5-4 to claim the first set in 36 minutes.
Tsitsipas, who will break into the top 10 for the first time on Monday, held firm up to 4-4 in the second set before the 37-year-old Federer switched gears to seal the decisive break and close out the victory.
“I don’t know if Stefanos was born when I won my first title,” Federer joked.
“It’s a privilege (to play against potential champions) because I’ll be watching them on 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.”
Federer has won at least one ATP trophy in nearly every season since his first title, missing out only in 2016 when he suffered a knee injury.
The Swiss won 24 of his 100 titles in consecutive finals from October 2003 to October 2005 and the magnitude of Federer’s achievement was not lost on Tsitsipas.
“Just thinking about it, getting to 100 is completely insane, I don’t know how you did that. I’d be happy with 100 (match) wins… I’m joking,” he said.
“It’s an honour playing Roger… I’ve been idolising him since I was six.”
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