Roger Federer has joined Jimmy Connors as the only two players in the Open era to win 100 career titles. Connors won 109 throughout his career. After the match, Connors’ acknowledged the win in a tweet.
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
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Photo: Roger Federer of Switzerland poses with the winners trophy and the 100 sign after winning the Dubai Duty Free Championships. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Federer took on Stefanos Tsitsipas, the player that ended his Australian Open title defence in the fourth round back in January.
In the opening game of the set a classic Federer forehand down the line brought up the first break point opportunity in the match at 15-40. A missed forehand by Tsitsipas that went wide saw Federer break. The Swiss player held serve to consolidate the break.
At the Australian Open it was Tsitsipas that looked to attack as often as possible and he would charge the net. Federer in Dubai was looking to play more aggressively and he would chip and charge where possible.
Federer would not earn another break point throughout the first set while Tsitsipas had two chances to break back in the 10th game with Federer serving for the set. Federer was up 40-0 only to see Tsitsipas get the score to deuce after Federer hit a backhand into the net. Federer hit a backhand slice wide to see Tsitsipas hold a break point.
The Greek player hit a backhand wide to lose his first chance to break. The errors were flowing from both ends, this time Federer dragged a backhand wide to present his opponent with a second break opportunity. Federer won the next point with a volley and then saw Tsitsipas hit a service return long for Ad. The great Swiss player took the set when Tsitsipas hit long.
The winners for Federer in the opening set were 13-7 and unforced errors were 10-12 the advantage of Tsitsipas.
In the second set, it was again just one break point that was required for Federer to break and then win the set, while not offering a single break point to his opponent. The break came in the ninth game. With the score at 30-30 Tsitsipas badly missed a forehand to present a breakpoint.
With Federer stepping to his right, Tsitsipas had the open court to hit into, instead, he hit his forehand into the net to give Federer the opportunity to serve for his 100th career title.
Federer sprinted to the line and at 4-0 he held three championship points. It took just one as Tsitsipas hit into the net.
History was made as Federer joined the triple-digit tournament victory club.
After a slow start to the week where he was pushed to three-set wins by Philipp Kohlschreiber and Fernando Verdasco he ended the week in fine form.
Federer served at 76% throughout the match to 69%. He won 83% of first serve points to 70%.
— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) March 2, 2019