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Federer makes history in Dubai, wins 100th title

Roger Federer made history at the Dubai Duty Free Championships, defeating reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 to win his 100th tour-level title.

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Federer in fine form as Switzerland win Hopman Cup

Roger Federer became the most successful player in Hopman Cup history when he led Switzerland to a 2-1 win in an enthralling final of the mixed teams tournament in Perth.

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Federer beats Raonic for Stuttgart title, his 18th on grass

Roger Federer claimed his 98th tour-level title and 18th grass-court trophy, displayed his unrivalled superiority on grass with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory over Milos Raonic in the Mercedes Cup final in Stuttgart.

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Federer cruises past Dimitrov to claim Rotterdam title

Roger Federer celebrated his return to the top of the world rankings with his second title of the season, swatting aside Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tournament in Rotterdam.

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Federer becomes oldest ATP World No.1

Roger Federer guaranteed his return to No.1 in the ATP Rankings after beating Dutchman Robin Haase 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Federer wins fourth Miami Open title

Victory was swift and convincing for Roger Federer on Sunday at the Miami Open. The Swiss produced a championship masterclass under the Florida sun, dominating reigning champ John Isner 6-1, 6-4 to take his fourth tournament title and No. 101 in his storied career.

The battle between the last two Miami champions went the way of Federer in a flash, as he needed just 64 minutes to triumph. Federer toppled the big-serving American behind four breaks of serve and a staggering 32 of 35 points won on his own delivery.

"It was a dream start, relaxing my nerves to break in the opening game," said Federer. "What a week it's been for me. I'm just so happy right now. It's unbelievable. I played here in 1999 for the first time and here I am in 2019. It means a lot to me."

One week after falling to Dominic Thiem in the Indian Wells final, Federer was all business at the subsequent ATP Masters 1000 stop in Miami. He streaked to the title behind 12 consecutive sets won, refusing to back down after dropping his opening set of the tournament to Radu Albot.

Federer's fourth Miami title puts him two behind Andre Agassi and Novak Djokovic for most in tournament history. Moreover, it was his 101st in total at the tour-level, moving him just eight back of all-time leader Jimmy Connors.

Four years after their last encounter, revenge was sweet for Federer. In their first meeting since Isner got the best of the Swiss at the 2015 Paris Masters, it was one-way traffic for the World No. 5. He extended his ATP Head to Head lead to 6-2 over the top-ranked American, also marking his second triumph in a title match (2012 Indian Wells).

Much has changed since they last met four years ago, but Federer's serving prowess against Isner remains the same. Entering the final, he had saved a combined 16 of 16 break points against the North Carolina native on all surfaces. And he would drop just one point on serve in the opening set on Sunday.

Federer put the clamps down on Isner's mammoth delivery from the first ball, immediately applying pressure on the big-hitting American. He would convert his third break point of the opening game to send a message right out of the gates.

A hyper-aggressive Federer was on the attack in longer rallies, pouncing on every short ball and using his backhand slice to disrupt Isner's rhythm at the back of the court. And he consistently put the 33-year-old out of his comfort zone, often baiting him to come to the net. A running forehand pass secured a second break for the Basel native and he streaked to a one-set lead in a flash, needing just 24 minutes.

After cruising past Denis Shapovalov in the semis, Federer was keen to replicate the performance in the final. And after letting a commanding lead slip against Thiem in the BNP Paribas Open final, the World No. 5 refused to endure a similar fate. He successfully neutralised Isner's serve throughout the encounter and a left foot injury did not help the American's cause.

Federer crossed the finish line after 64 minutes as a hobbled Isner was unable to hold serve in the final game. He fired 17 winners overall, including six off his backhand wing, while benefiting from 16 unforced errors off Isner's racquet.

"I think I was very clear on how I wanted to play, so I think that helped that I was able to not just have the plan but then being able to execute," said Federer. "It's always two things, having the plan and then it not working. And of course to win every single point on my first serve, things need to go your way against him. So there needs to be both sides to the thing because he did have chances obviously to win some points. But apparently also on my second serve I hardly dropped any points.

"I just can be very happy on either end, return and serve, and that's why I'm so happy that I was able to produce a performance like this in a finals, because this is what you train for and play for that constantly keeps your level going up as the tournament progresses. And this was my best. I'm very excited."

The 37-year-old is the first champion at the new Hard Rock Stadium, securing his 28th ATP Masters 1000 trophy in total. It was his first victory at the elite level since Shanghai in 2017.

Federer has not only reached three straight finals, posting a 15-1 record in that span, but he adds a Miami crown to his championship silverware in Dubai. He is the first player to win multiple titles this year, ending the streak of 19 winners from 19 events.

Meanwhile, defending champ Isner was bidding for his second Masters 1000 title and 15th in total on the ATP Tour. He caps another impressive fortnight in Miami, which saw him not drop a set en route to the final, including nine of nine tie-breaks won. Moreover, Isner claimed his first Top 30 wins since the US Open with a Round of 16 victory over Kyle Edmund and quater-final defeat of Roberto Bautista Agut.

"Somewhere along in the first set I started feeling some pain on the top of my foot, and it didn't go away," said Isner. "It only kept getting worse. It's a terrible feeling, because you're on an island out there, and you have no teammates to hide behind. I was going up against the greatest player ever, playing in this incredible atmosphere and my foot's killing me.

"Not that I would have won the match, anyways, let's make that clear, but I think I could have made for a more interesting match and one that was a little more fun. Roger was too good. In the first five games, I was fine. Nothing was bothering me. He was all over me. Then there was this weird pain on the top of my foot. I'm hoping it's nothing, but we'll see."

Date: 31 March 2019, Source: ATP

Federer to face Isner in Miami Open final

Roger Federer cruised into his fifth Miami Open final with an impressive 6-2, 6-4 victory against Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov on Friday.

Federer was dominant in service and broke the 19-year-old three times to set up a final with American John Isner, who beat 18-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).

“I enjoyed it. I think I played very well. I had to,” Federer told reporters. “Because I think when you let Denis play, he's got some serious power, and he gets rhythm going. He can really put you in uncomfortable situations. So I think I did well, and I'm very happy how I played.”

Federer leads his ATP Head to Head series with Isner 5-2, including a straight-sets win during the 2012 BNP Paribas Open final. Isner, however has yet to drop a set this fortnight and is 9-0 in tie-breaks.

Shapovalov was on the board early, despite the nerves that can come with playing your idol for the first time. But the good feelings didn't last, as Federer broke in the third game when Shapovalov shanked a backhand.

The teenager finished the opener with 20 unforced errors. Federer, meanwhile, picked up where he finished with Kevin Anderson on Thursday night, smacking crosscourt forehand winners and pressuring Shapovalov to pass. The Swiss hit only four unforced errors in the opener.

Shapovalov came back from a set down three times to reach the semi-finals, including during his quarter-final against American Frances Tiafoe. And the Canadian held to start the second. But Federer broke in the third game again and served his way into the final.

“It's surreal, being on the court against him," Shapovalov said. "Obviously I wasn't trying to focus on the fact that it's Roger on the other side. I was just trying to play as good as I can, and he did a good job today. He played an excellent match. I wasn't able to kind of stay at his level. I'm just going to try to learn from this and move forward.”

The 37-year-old Federer has now reached the most Masters 1000 finals in history with 50 (27-22). Spain's Rafael Nadal has made 49 finals at the prestigious level (33-16).

The question that might determine if Federer wins his 28th ATP Masters 1000 title on Sunday: How many serves can he stop from hitting the back wall from Isner?

“I honestly love big servers, to watch them, to see if they're going to ace every second or third point. For me, that's exciting because it's like a penalty shootout in football, it's just in tennis,” Federer said during his on-court interview with ESPN. “I'll be the goalie on Sunday. I'll try my very best. I'll try to get as many balls back as possible.

“I know what to expect - that he will not miss many serves. He's got an amazing serve. One of the best in the game. It's really hard to play against him.

“Hopefully we'll have a good match,” Federer told ESPN. “I'm excited to play John because he really had a tough match against Felix today. That was an awesome performance by him.”

Date: 30 March 2019, Source: Reuters and ATP

Federer rallies to beat Albot in Miami opener

Roger Federer rallied from a set down to beat Moldovan surprise package Radu Albot 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in a stuttering start to the 20-times Grand Slam champion's Miami Open campaign on Saturday.

Federer, beaten by Dominic Thiem in last week's BNP Paribas Open final, smashed 14 aces and broke Albot twice to advance to the third round but it was far from plain sailing for the 37-year-old against the world number 46.

After dropping the first set, Federer broke Albot while leading 6-5 in the second with a backhand volley winner. Albot could not convert a break point in the deciding set tied a 3-3, and the Swiss took command from there to wrap up a match that lasted two hours and 10 minutes.

Three-times Miami champion Federer finished with 38 winners but had to overcame 41 unforced errors to defeat Albot, who earned an ovation from the crowd for his efforts.

"I definitely think Radu played a great match, it was really tough and I struggled early on," admitted Federer.

"I expected a player with a great attitude, which he showed. An aggressive baseliner, who moves well. He's not afraid to come to the net. The problem is I've never practiced with him. I've never really seen him play live matches.

"I thought it was hard. I have a lot of respect for those types of players who don't have the size, have to find a different way to win. He's a great, great player. I was impressed.

"It's always going to feel very different in a massive place like this," said Federer, referring to the new venue at Hard Rock Stadium. "It was definitely different, especially very different to Key Biscayne last year. I'm happy I got it out of the way. I'm happy I was able to find a way tonight.

"I am very relieved and happy to make it through. It was a good atmosphere at the end. I thought it was quite electric, how it usually is in Miami. I'm happy that hasn't gone away."

Federer will next face Serbia's Filip Krajinovic on Monday. Earlier in the day, Krajinovic denied an all-Swiss rematch, defeating Stan Wawrinka 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (5) in the first meeting between the pair. The Serbian World No. 103 rallied from behind in a third-set tie-break to upset 30th-seeded Wawrinka.

The 27-year-old, who trailed 2-4 in the 'breaker, continued his recent good form which saw him come through qualifying in Indian Wells to beat David Goffin and Daniil Medvedev before falling to Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.

Federer leads the ATP Head to Head series against Krajinovic at 2-0. He triumphed a year ago in Indian Wells, before earning a three-set win on home soil in Basel.

Date: 24 March 2019, Source: Reuters, AFP and ATP

Federer: "Thiem was better when it really mattered"

Roger Federer fell short in the BNP Paribas Open final for the second consecutive year on Sunday, losing to 25-year-old Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, who secured his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy in his third final appearance. But even with a record-setting sixth title on the line, Federer took the loss with perspective.

“I'm not too disappointed. I feel like he had to come up with the goods, and it did feel like to some extent it was on my racquet,” Federer said. “I just came up against somebody who was, on the day, a bit better when it really mattered. That's how it goes. Sure, it's frustrating and disappointing and sad to some extent. But look, I have been in these positions so many times that I get over it very quickly.”

Federer also missed out on his sixth Indian Wells title in last year's final against Juan Martin del Potro, failing to convert three championship points against Juan Martin del Potro. He also fell just short in the California desert in 2014, and 2015.

“It's hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong against Thiem. The return he hits on the line at 5-all in the third set, that's the one I needed, and I couldn't produce that. Why is that? You can start looking, digging so deep, and then you end up getting lost, rather than just saying he played maybe a little bit better when he really had to,” Federer said. “I didn't feel like I played bad, either. I had my chances. I was in the points.”

It would be one thing if Federer was blown off the court because of his own poor play. But, for the most part, the deciding factor was Thiem’s fearlessness in the big moments, not a Federer implosion.

“I feel like I'm actually playing good tennis. Like, in Australia, I wasn't too down on myself because I feel like my game is there, my body is there. I think when you feel that way, you take it more... positively?” said Federer, who was stunned in the fourth round of the Australian Open by reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. “I don't know how to explain, but it's just not as dramatic. Whereas, when you're hurt and things are difficult… maybe those hurt more.”

This loss may sting a little bit, but Federer has still won 12 of 14 matches this year. At the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the Swiss became the second player in the Open Era to earn 100 tour-level titles (Jimmy Connors, 109).

“I'm happy for Dominic, winning his first Masters 1000, as well. It's a massive event to win,” Federer said. “I just got my 100th in Dubai, and I had a good week here. Really, there is no reason to get down. Plus there is more to look forward to in Miami.”

Federer will now turn his attention to the Miami Open, the second Masters 1000 tournament of the year. With Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal, the Swiss will be the fourth seed. And while Federer has played 10 matches since only 25 February, he is eager to pursue his fourth trophy at that event.

“The body is perfectly fine. That also always keeps me upbeat, and I feel it's a privilege when I feel this way leaving a tournament,” Federer said. “I have been playing every single day for the past three weeks. I can be very happy and proud of that fact.

“I feel really good, so why shouldn't I go into the tournament and to the event confident?”

Date: 18 March 2019, Source: ATP

Federer and Nadal to clash in Indian Wells semi-final

Roger Federer arrived on court for his BNP Paribas Open match on Friday to play his 83rd ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who was competing in his first. That experience proved enough for the Swiss, as Federer defeated Hurkacz 6-4, 6-4 to reach his 12th semi-final in Indian Wells, setting up a potential showdown against three-time champion Rafael Nadal in the last four.

"At this stage of the tournament, you have to bring your best game," Federer said. "I'm very excited to be in the semis here. Not that I didn't expect it, but it definitely went better than I thought it would."

On Federer’s first service point of the match, Hurkacz swung and missed on a second-serve return. While the 22-year-old Pole acquitted himself well, that set the tone for the Swiss’ workmanlike one-hour, 13-minute victory, in which Federer held all 10 of his service games. The 37-year-old has won 38 of his 39 service games at the first Masters 1000 tournament of the year.

Federer and Novak Djokovic hold the record for the most BNP Paribas Open titles, with five each. But Federer is now two matches from standing alone with six victories in the California desert. On 2 March, Federer became the second player in the Open Era to win 100 tour-level trophies, triumphing at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Federer had an earlier-than-usual wake-up call for the 11:00 a.m. match. He woke up at 7:00, practised at 8:30, had pasta for breakfast at 9:30 and then was ready to go for the quarter-final. Hurkacz by no means looked out of place on Stadium 1, holding his own from the baseline and showing no fear of the net against the Swiss. To start the third game of the match, Hurkacz even swooped to net and carved a perfect backhand volley that left Federer frozen in his tracks.

But Federer’s efficiency in his service games proved key. The Swiss faced two break points in the match, at 3-2 in the second set and as he served out the quarter-final. The 12-time Indian Wells semi-finalist responded to the first break chance against him with calm, rushing from the net back to the baseline when a lob went over his head, forcing Hurkacz to make a tough volley, before overwhelming the 22-year-old with a sharp cross-court forehand passing shot. At 6-4, 5-4, 30/40, Federer relied on a booming first serve out wide to get back on track.

The fourth seed broke in Hurkacz’s third service game of the first set and his second service game of the second set, with the Pole making forehand errors to concede the advantage on each occasion.

"I was trying to compete, to fight, and believe that I can do it. Roger was playing great in the crucial moments," Hurkacz said. "I had some small chances in the second set. But yeah, today was a great lesson for me."

Federer will next play second seed Nadal, who battled past World No. 13 Karen Khachanov in two tie-breaks. It will be the 39th clash in Federer and Nadal's ATP Head to Head series (Nadal leads 23-15) and their fourth match in Indian Wells (Federer leads 2-1).

Despite the loss, it was a breakthrough week for Hurkacz. Entering the tournament, the Polish No. 1 had not won a Masters 1000 match. But he defeated Donald Young, Australian Open semi-finalist Lucas Pouille, sixth seed Kei Nishikori and Next Gen ATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

"Playing on such a huge stadium against Roger Federer, it's just something different," Hurkacz said. "The match wasn't one way throughout the whole match. So I mean, he was playing really, really well. But still, I had some small chances, so it also gives me motivation to work and to get there."

Date: 15 March 2019, Source: ATP

Federer breezes past Edmund in Indian Wells

There will be two new ATP Masters 1000 quarter-finalists at the BNP Paribas Open - Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic and Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.

But amidst the change, familiar faces remain. Five-time champion Roger Federer advanced to his 13th Indian Wells quarter-final on Wednesday afternoon, 6-1, 6-4, taking advantage of a slow start from top Brit and 23rd seed Kyle Edmund in their first meeting.

“He didn't have the best start, so that cost him the first set. Second set, it was definitely better. I think he probably struggled throughout a little bit. He never really got going. Conditions are tough with the glare, and the jump of the ball is sometimes hard to find the rhythm and timing,” Federer said.

“Being able to belt the ball like he does needs either a good start or good conditions, and he didn't quite find that. I'm sure I profited a little bit from it, but again, I was able to keep him uncomfortable throughout the match.

“He's got everything in the game. It's just a matter of keeping improving, keep plugging away, and then he will make big results again. He knows that.”

The 37-year-old Federer will experience another first as he and Hurkacz will meet for the first time in the quarter-finals. The 22-year-old Pole, who competed at the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, beat Next Gen ATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3.

I enjoy it," Federer said of playing guys for the first time. "Hurkacz... He's also up and coming, so that's fun. Kyle, the same thing. I have never played him before other than practice. It's nice to see what they have in the matches and really get a sense how much more we will see of them. For me, at a top level, I like it that I'm not playing the same guys every single week.”

Edmund, meanwhile, will want to have another go at the 27-time Masters 1000 champion. The Brit double faulted twice to start his first service game, and unfortunately for the 23-year-old, the nervy beginning was an omen.

Federer broke twice in the opening set, and Edmund failed to convert any of his three break chances to get back on serve in the third game. Federer pounded Edmund's backhand, and the Antwerp titlist was stuck trying to rally from the baseline with Federer.

As Rod Laver, two-time champion Pete Sampras and tournament owner Larry Ellison looked on, Edmund settled into the match, but Federer saved four more break points in the second, going seven for seven for the match.

Date: 14 March 2019, Source: ATP

Federer begins quest for record sixth Indian Wells title

In his first match since claiming his 100th tour-level title in Dubai, fourth seed Roger Federer defeated German Peter Gojowczyk 6-1, 7-5 on Sunday to reach the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.

"For the first match I actually felt really good. If I maybe would have served a little bit better, I think things would have gone faster," Federer said. "But at the end it was a tough second set, and it's maybe exactly what I needed."

Federer has now advanced to the third round or better at Indian Wells in 10 straight appearances, and he is trying to make his fifth consecutive final at the ATP Masters 1000 event (he did not play in 2016). There will be a rematch of the 2017 final in the third round, as Federer will face Stan Wawrinka next.

Federer is chasing a record sixth title at the BNP Paribas Open. The 37-year-old Swiss and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic both have captured five trophies in the desert.

It appeared Federer would face little difficulty against Gojowczyk, using his backhand slice to effectively keep the German from gaining any rhythm. But the World No. 85 saved four break points in the first service game of the second set, and used the momentum from that to eventually break for a 3-1 lead. While Federer immediately broke back, he had to battle an inspired Gojowczyk for the rest of the set, eventually benefitting an untimely double fault to break before serving out the match after one hour and 17 minutes.

"I think I played well in the first set and he didn't, and then things go very quickly. The second set I think he saved some crucial break points with good serving. I think his serve really picked up," Federer said. "I'm really happy I found a way in that second set."

Federer did well to create opportunities against Gojowczyk, earning 14 break points and converting four of them. The Swiss also played well under pressure, staving off six of the German's seven chances.

Federer's 63 wins at Indian Wells are the most he has earned at any Masters 1000 event. The recent Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships winner is now 9-1 on the season, with his only loss coming against reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Wawrinka outlasted 29th-seeded Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-5 after three hours and 24 minutes. It wasn't the pair's first epic battle, as Wawrinka beat Fucsovics in a final-set tie-break last year at the Rogers Cup.

Since 2011, Federer has not lost to a player outside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings at Indian Wells. Three of his five defeats in the desert during that span have come against Novak Djokovic, with Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro beating him once each.

Date: 11 March 2019, Source: ATP

Federer joins exclusive club with 100th title

Twenty-two years after a 16-year-old Roger Federer made his ATP World Tour debut on home soil in Gstaad, the man they call ‘maestro’ joins Jimmy Connors as only the second player to enter the ‘Century Club’.

On Saturday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Federer displayed a level of comfort on Centre Court that can be expected from someone who had previously won the event seven times. Trading body blows with 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Next Gen ATP champion 17 years his junior, the Swiss legend secured his 100th tour-level title with a  6-4, 6-4 win over the soon-to-be Greek World No. 10 in front of highly engaged, capacity crowd, which showed just how much they love Federer.

“It’s been a long, wonderful journey. I have loved every minute,” Federer said. “It’s been tough but the sacrifice has been very, very worthwhile and we’ll see how much more I’ve got left in the tank. Reaching 100 is an absolute dream come true for me.”

Having captured his first title in Milan in 2001 as a 19-year-old, Federer has scored at least one trophy in every season since. That's 19 consecutive years of sustained success at the highest level. His career has not only outlasted that Milan tournament (last held in 2005), but also the carpet surface it was played on (last used in 2008) and every other player in the draw, who have all retired since then.

There are no signs that his continued success will stop anytime soon. Although Federer trails the 109 titles that Connors racked up in his career, he’s won at least four titles in 16 of the past 18 seasons. If Federer can stay injury-free for a few more years, he’s playing well enough to catch and possibly surpass the American’s record.

But Federer said that chasing down Connors’ record 109 titles is not what motivates him to keep playing.

“I’m just happy that I’m still healthy, that I’ve got such a wonderful team, my family who have supported me for so, so long. I can’t thank them enough.

“If I reach milestones like this along the way it’s wonderful, but I’m really not here to shatter all the records. What Jimmy did was an unbelievable achievement and he should be proud of that. I’m proud of other things I have done. It was a special evening playing Stefanos and seeing the future coming up. It’s part of the journey.”

His milestone moment in Dubai is the latest of Federer's litany of staggering achievements. His greatest? It's impossible to choose just one. Federer has reigned atop the ATP Rankings for a record 310 weeks, including 237 in a row. He owns the most Grand Slam singles titles (20), ATP Finals crowns (6) and Wimbledon trophies (8) in the Open Era. He also stands alone with 24 consecutive wins vs. Top 10 opposition. But of all these accomplishments, securing 100 titles is arguably one of the most impressive.

In an era of titanic servers and baseline bombers, Federer's fluid, precision-oriented game has enabled him to dominate on the ATP World Tour for nearly two decades. No moment is too great and no shot too improbable. The Basel native has become an impervious force as he enters his late 30s, predicated on unyielding durability and the ability to excel on all surfaces.

Remarkably, of Federer's 100 titles, nearly a quarter of them came in consecutive finals from October 2003 to October 2005. It's a streak that will likely never be broken: 24 straight championship matches won. Over a span of two years, it was a guarantee that Federer would step onto a final stage and emerge with the trophy. He entered Vienna in 2003 with a 9-8 record in finals and emerged from Bangkok in 2005 with a stunning 33-8 mark.

The streak ended after an inspired David Nalbandian defeated him in a fifth-set tie-break in the championship match of the 2005 ATP Finals, but even that runner-up showing highlighted his dominance on tour. Federer had missed the previous six weeks nursing a right ankle injury and was on crutches just three weeks before arriving in Shanghai, yet still came within two points of taking the title.

But that championship match streak isn't the only impressive figure among Federer's 100 titles. The Swiss has won four titles without being broken throughout the tournament (Doha 2005, Halle 2008, Cincinnati 2012 & 2015) and owns five wins against World No. 1s in finals - three against Rafael Nadal and two against Novak Djokovic. In addition, he has successfully defended 35 of his titles and 15 of his final victories have come after losing the first set.

Regardless of where you play him, Federer is always up to the challenge. He has won titles on four different surfaces, from hard (69), grass (18), clay (11) and carpet (2). Federer also owns titles in 19 different countries, enjoying the majority of his success in the United States (22).

Federer has spread the love around multiple events during his storied career. He is the only player with seven or more crowns at five different tournaments, achieving the feat in Halle (9), Basel, (9), Wimbledon (8), Dubai (8) and Cincinnati (7).

As the Swiss maestro continues to push the limits and defy the odds, no record is safe. Having already made an indelible mark on the sport, he is proving that nothing is impossible.

Federer Fast Facts: Grand Slam titles - 20, ATP Finals titles - 6, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles - 27, ATP World Tour 500 titles - 22, ATP World Tour 250 titles - 25.

Date: 2 March 2019, Source: ATP

Federer makes history in Dubai, wins 100th title

Roger Federer made history on Saturday at the Dubai Duty Free Championships, defeating reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 to win his 100th tour-level title. The 37-year-old is just the second man to accomplish the feat, joining Jimmy Connors, who triumphed 109 times.

“It’s been a long, wonderful journey. I have loved every minute,” Federer said on court after his victory. “It’s been tough but the sacrifice has been very, very worthwhile and we’ll see how much more I’ve got left in the tank. Reaching 100 is an absolute dream come true for me.”

This was Federer’s first appearance in a final since lifting his 99th tour-level trophy last October in Basel. The Swiss joined the ‘Century Club’ at his first opportunity, needing just 69 minutes to triumph in Dubai for the eighth time, making it four tournaments at which he has earned eight or more titles (also Basel, Halle and Wimbledon).

"I think this one has a deep satisfaction, an immediate one, because I know what it means. I like these type of numbers or records," Federer said. "A lot of people always emphasize all the Slams and all these things. I play on the ATP Tour. This is where I've won so many of them, been around for so long. I don't rest between Slams all the time, like people think I might be. But I'm not. I think this number proves that. I think that's why this was a very exciting week for me."

Tsitsipas stunned Federer less than two months ago in the fourth round of the Australian Open, halting the Swiss’ bid for title No. 100 in four sets in Melbourne. But Federer evened the pair’s ATP Head to Head series at 1-1 with an aggressive display on Centre Court. Tsitsipas hurt Federer by coming to net 68 times in Australia, it was the Swiss who pushed forward in their second meeting.

While Tsitsipas carried an eight-match winning streak into the championship match after triumphing at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille last week, Federer came out firing. The Swiss earned two break points in the first game of the match with a rifled inside-in forehand, and converted on his first opportunity when Tsitsipas missed a cross-court forehand wide.

Federer did not look back from there, playing aggressively with his forehand to avoid getting pushed back by the Next Gen ATP Greek, frequenting the net to put pressure on the fifth seed. He faced two break points while serving for the first set, but Tsitsipas missed a backhand down the line from well behind the baseline and then Federer swooped into net to swat away a backhand volley on the Greek's second chance.

In the second set, Tsitsipas did a better job of holding his ground on the baseline, beginning to move forward more himself. But Federer, who saved both break points he faced in the match, did not waste his chance, taking a 5-4 lead when Tsitsipas dumped a neutral ball in the net. And Federer held to love to clinch title No. 100, after Tsitsipas struck an inside-out forehand into the net.

"I played the right way. Things happened fast. Best-of-three set tennis on a fast court against somebody like Stefanos, who also likes to take the ball early, I tried to be very aggressive myself and it worked out. I got off on a flyer in the beginning and never looked back," said Federer, who landed 76 per cent of his first serves and won 83 per cent of those points. "In the second set, I think I was overall maybe able to create a few more chances. I just felt good in defence, good in offence, good on the serve. That's a good combination to win."

"He was very aggressive, didn't give me any time today. I was expecting it, for him to be a little more aggressive. He just seemed like he was having control over everything he was doing, taking the ball super early, on the rise, giving me no time to prepare," Tsitsipas said. "It was a very fast-tempo game. It felt like he was controlling everything on his own terms. He was just very, very aggressive."

World No. 7 Federer adds 500 ATP Ranking points to his total, and he will return to the Top 5 on Monday at No. 4. The 37-year-old also leaves Dubai with $565,635 in prize money, sending his career total past $121 million. The second seed was pushed to three sets in his first two matches of the week, but he won his final seven sets of the tournament to complete his run.

"I didn't come here expecting I was going to win, to be quite honest. I hadn't played since Australia. Just happy on all fronts how my game progressed, how well I played in the final and on top of it winning the eighth title in Dubai and winning the 100th tour-level trophy. So many magical things going on," Federer said. "I'm very, very happy right now."

Tsitsipas fell short of earning his third ATP Tour crown and his first at the ATP 500-level, but the Greek will crack the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday, becoming the first player from his country to do so. The 20-year-old gains 300 points and $283,880 in prize money.

"It’s an honour playing against Roger. I’ve said it thousands of times, I’ve been idolising him since the age of six and watching him on TV, I was just like you guys," Tsitsipas said to the crowd. "Now sharing the court, it’s even better.

"You’ve created history in tennis and keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing really well."

Date: 2 March 2019, Source: ATP

Federer to play Tsitsipas in Dubai final

Roger Federer moved to within one victory of capturing his eighth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title, which could represent the 100th tour-level crown of his career, on Friday night. The Swiss superstar cruised past Borna Coric at the Aviation Club in a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over 67 minutes for a shot at history.

"I was really happy with my play today," said Federer. "In terms of feeling, this match was definitely by far the best one this week, so that was good. I'm sure Borna was feeling it a little bit from his past few matches."

If the Swiss superstar is to join Jimmy Connors (109 titles) as the second man in the Open Era to reach a century of singles trophies, he will have to snap the eight-match winning streak of Stefanos Tsitsipas, the reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champions. Last month, Tsitsipas beat Federer 6-7 (11), 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (5) in the Australian Open fourth round.

"Maybe the final is a little bit of a revenge match. Stefanos showed me at the Australian Open, how hard he is to play," said Federer. "I hope I'm going to play well. We're still far from reaching 100 titles, it seems. I'm just going to try to focus and play good tennis."

Federer won five of the first six games against Coric and converted his fourth set-point chance at 5-2 with an unreturned serve to complete the 32-minute opener. The second-seeded Swiss, who continued his policy of attacking the net and playing a number of drop shots, was gifted the opening game of the second set when Coric struck a forehand wide.

Coric's error count increased and at 2-4, 30/40, a wild forehand spelled the end for the sixth-seeded Croatian. Federer wrapped up his seventh victory in eight matches this year with an ace for a place in his 152nd tour-level final (99-52 record).

"I think it was important to mix it up, be solid, not give him too many chances and keep showing him it's going to be really difficult for him to win," said Federer. "At the end, I actually played really good. I'm very pleased."

Date: 1 March 2019, Source: ATP