Federer wins landmark 100th tour title

Europe
Federer is only the second man to win a ton of ATP titles

Roger Federer has won his 100th ATP Tour title at the Dubai Tennis Championships – 6,600 days after winning his first in Milan.

The 37-year-old Swiss – a 20-time Grand Slam champion – beat Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4.

Federer’s first ATP title came at the Milan Indoors on 4 February, 2001, when he beat Frenchman Julien Boutter.

“It is an absolute dream come true right now,” said Federer, who will become world number four on Monday.

He is just the second man, after American Jimmy Connors in 1983, to reach the landmark.

“I’m delighted. It’s great to win my eighth here in Dubai and in combination with my 100th singles title,” he added.

“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 (he was, in August 1998). It’s a privilege [to play against possible future champions] 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.”

Federer broke Tsitsipas, 20, in the first game of the match before saving two break points at 5-4 to see out the first set.

The Greek – who will break into the world top 10 for the first time on Monday – held his nerve in the second set until 4-4, before Federer broke his serve once again to wrap up the final in 69 minutes.

World number 11 Tsitsipas was Federer’s 50th different final opponent and the 25th different nationality.

It was only the second time the pair had met, with Tsitsipas beating Federer in four sets in the Australian Open last 16 in January.

Federer will have to win 10 more titles to beat Connors’ men’s record of 109, while Martina Navratilova holds the all-time record having won 167 women’s singles crowns during her career.

Analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Jimmy Connors’ record remains a remarkable one.

He won his 109th and final tournament in Tel Aviv in the month after turning 37, and that was over six years before he finally called it a day.

Connors won 15 titles – including the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open – in his standout season of 1974. Nothing that Federer achieves should remotely diminish Connors’ feat, although the Swiss is playing in what the Grand Slam roll of honour shows to be the finest era in men’s tennis.

Is there any way Federer can catch Connors? Probably not, given his age, as he would need to maintain his recent strike rate for another couple of seasons.

If overtaking Connors’ record was paramount, Federer could target the smaller, less competitive, events. But this would come at the expense of the Grand Slams, which remain Federer’s overriding motivation.

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