After landmark 100th title, Federer promises to play in Dubai next year

Spain's Rafael Nadal is interviewed by at the ATP Media Day during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. — Reuters

Roger Federer became only the second man in history to win 100 singles titles in his tennis career on Saturday, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 to win the Dubai Championships.

"I'm delighted. It's great to win my eighth here in Dubai and in combination with my 100th singles title", Federer said, conceding Jimmy Connors' world-record 109 mark isn't on his agenda.

Federer, 37, said he never envisioned winning 100 titles - becoming just the second player along with 109-time victor Jimmy Connors to hit triple digits.

In a battle of the generations, Federer avenged his loss to the 20-year-old Tsitsipas, a rising star from Greece, in the last 16 of the Australian Open in January.

"Welcome to the "Triple Digit" tournament victory club", Connors said in a Twitter post to Federer, "I've been a bit lonely-glad to have the company!"

"It's an achievement that I never thought I was going to make and one I only started thinking about maybe in the last nine months or year or so, ever since maybe I got to 96 or 97", he said.

"Nick burst onto the scene beating Rafa at Wimbledon so I think there's probably been something there from day one". "I don't know if Stefanos was born when I won my first title".

"I want to keep it as flexible as possible when it is all said and done", Federer said.

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"I didn't come here expecting I was going to win, to be quite honest". This number proves why this was a very exciting week for me. "We'll see how much more I have left in the tank, but reaching 100 is a dream and tonight was a very special evening, but it's not about breaking every single record".

"So many magical things going on".

During his pre-tournament press conference, Federer was quizzed on if this will be his last visit to the California event as a player. I'm happy to come here again next year.

Tsitsipas admitted he had few chances in the rout. "Tough conditions and tough opponents. I've been idolising him since I was six".

"He just seemed like having control over everything he was doing, taking the ball super early, on the rise, giving me no time to prepare".

Tsitsipas, who will break into the top 10 for the first time, held firm up to 4-4 in the second set before the 37-year-old Federer switched gear to seal the decisive break and close out the victory.

"It's a privilege [to play against potential champions like Tsitsipas] because I'll be watching them on TV", Federer said.

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