Roger Federer on cloud nine after clinching 100th title with Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships win

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A century of ATP title for Roger Federer.

Roger Federer wrote another “special” page of history as he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday at the Dubai Championships to win the 100th title of his career.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner claimed a record eighth trophy at the Aviation Club.

The Swiss second seed was untouchable throughout much of the 69-minute final as he gained revenge for his fourth-round Australian Open defeat by the 11th-ranked Greek youngster.

“It’s so special to win my eighth here combined with 100,” Federer said. “I had tough opponents all the way through – right up to Stefanos today.

“He’s already having a great career, the game is in good hands.”

Federer joins Jimmy Connors (109) as the only other man to have won 100 titles.

His 99th trophy came last October at his home event in Basel.

He missed out on his century at the Paris Masters, the ATP Finals and the Australian Open.

Federer had to work hard this week, winning in three sets over Philipp Kohlschreiber and Fernando Verdasco.

Tsitsipas saw the end of an eight-match winning streak as he arrived in the Gulf with the Marseille title from last weekend.

Federer broke in the opening game of the final, but had to battle to claim the opening set.

Tsitsipas saved three set points in the final game before Federer – who faced two break points – finished off the set as Tsitsipas returned wide.

In the second, a break in the penultimate game for 5-4 and a service hold a game later were enough as Tsitsipas put a forehand into the net.

Copy provided by Press Association Sports 

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Dubai Duty Free Championships: Federer overcomes Kohlschreiber challenge to advance

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A fine win for Roger Federer at Dubai.

Roger Federer started his pursuit of a 100th ATP title with a three-set victory over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Championships.

The seven-time champion at Dubai had to battle swirly conditions to ultimately prevail 6-4, 3-6 and 6-1 over the German.

Seeded second in the tournament, Federer was broken thrice on his serve in the second set as Kohlschreiber rallied back strongly. However, the Swiss then turned on the style in the deciding set to book his passage to the second round where he will be up against Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.

It took the 20-time Grand Slam winner just over an hour and a half to extinguish the 31st ranked German’s challenge at the Aviation Club.

While expressing his relief at overcoming the first hurdle in tricky conditions, Federer conceded that Kohlschreiber had posed a tricky test.

“I’m just happy to get through, it was tricky conditions out there,” the Swiss was quoted as saying by AFP.

“Philipp caused me a lot of trouble and we played in swirly conditions. All of a sudden it (the wind) could stop and you could be a break down. That also plays in your head a little bit.

“I know the game’s there. It was just really difficult conditions tonight.”

Meanwhile, Federer’s second-round opponent Verdasco lost the first set again Thomas Fabbiano before coming back from behind to win 3-6, 6-3 and 6-2.

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Roberto Bautista Agut wants to become golden oldie like Roger Federer

Chris Bailey 25/02/2019
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during day nine of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia.

Roberto Bautista Agut is in the form of his life as a 30-year-old – and he believes it is no coincidence that some of the world’s best players are in their fourth decade.

Lacoste ambassador Bautista Agut is in the UAE this week to defend his Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title among a strong field including all-time great Roger Federer, No.1 seed Kei Nishikori and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated the Spaniard at the Australian Open quarter-finals last month.

The start of the season has brought some stunning success for world No.18 Bautista Agut, not least by overcoming Novak Djokovic in the process of soaring to the Doha title in early January.

Djokovic, 31, 37-year-old Federer and 32-year-old Rafael Nadal have continued their dominance over men’s tennis into their ‘golden years’, having locked up the last nine major titles between them.

And while Bautista Agut – who is 31 in April – is still searching for an appearance at a major final, he sees no reason why he can’t follow their lead and continue to improve the older he gets.

“These days there is more injury prevention, we have healthier lifestyles, and very good preparation,” said Bautista Agut, who was speaking from the Lacoste Lounge ahead of his first-round match with India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan on Monday.

“Now the players are getting a different mentality because they start to feel good when they’re over 30. I think I still have some good years left to prove my abilities.

“I’ve had a really good start to the season, I had two months at home (in Spain) and I spent almost four weeks of vacation there, which is rare in a tennis career.  Aferwards I had one month of practice in December and prepared well to start the season.”

Bautista Agut played in his first-ever quarter-final of a Grand Slam in defeat to Greek youngster Tsitsipas.

In Melbourne he also overcame former champion Andy Murray – who was visibly struggling with his longstanding hip injury – in an emotional five-setter, as well as beating home favourite John Millman and Croatia’s Marin Cilic over five sets.

And Bautista Agut puts his mental resilience down to old-fashioned hard work.

“Everything is about work, about being well prepared and also I become very calm when the emotions are out there,” he added. “It was a good challenge for me and I think I did really well.

“I think not easy to talk about these things (reaching the final of a major), I think the Australian Open was a really good week for me, a really good tournament.

“I hope I can play more of these rounds in the next years of my career.”

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