Man on a mission: Watching Roger Federer win his 100th title in Dubai was surreal
Last night at Dubai Tennis Village, Roger Federer became only the second men’s singles player in history to win his 100 ATP tournament titles.
The Swiss, who is by far considered the greatest player of the game began his career back in 1998 and holds an impressive 20 grand slam titles, more than any other male player in history. Federer held the world No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings for a record total of 310 weeks, including a record 237 consecutive weeks.
The only other player to have won 109 ATP men’s singles titles is the legendary American Tennis Player James Scott Connors, better known as Jimmy. Connors had an incredible career having been at the top ATP ranking for a record in his time of 160 consecutive weeks between 1974 to 1977 and a career total of 268 weeks.
Roger Federer, in his quest for an 8th Dubai Duty Free Championship title faced the young Greek opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas on a windy Saturday evening. The pair met earlier this year in January in the fourth round of the Australian Open where Tsitsipas beat the Swiss defending champion 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6.
In Dubai, Federer was not going to surrender. From the start he was aggressive and showed superiority over the Greek, he hit harder, returned better and showed the young man that when push comes to shove, experience is what counts.
Federer didn’t give his opponent much room to manoeuvre despite Tsitsipas attempts at an array of cheeky spins and short returns only to be disappointed at each one, Federer won the first set 6-4.
As the second set got on the way, it was evident that the greatest champion of all time who turned pro the same year his opponent was born would overpower him comfortably wining it 6-4 one more time and declaring his 8th Dubai Duty Free Championship title along with his 100th ATP tournament title on the way.
At the trophy ceremony Stefanos Tsitsipas spoke of idolising Federer since the age of 6 and spoke of what an honour it was to share the court with one of his heroes.
This year the tournament saw an increase of 25% in ticket sales and an impressive crowed of 80 thousand fans over the fortnight. Federer having played for 4 nights straight certainly played a good part in that.
Federer confirmed his attendance to the tournament in 2020, so look out for an even bigger event next year.