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Federer, a class apart!

Federer, a class apart!

While the debate on GOAT (Greatest of all time) will rage on, there is no gainsaying that Roger Federer, who claimed the 100th title of his remarkable career, will remain a class apart. It is only incidental that he won a straight sets victory over Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas to win the Dubai Championship Saturday for the eighth time. The 37-year-old Swiss maestro is just the second man after American Jimmy Connors to reach a century of tournament wins, a run he started way back in 2001 in Milan. It was also partial revenge for the shattering defeat Federer suffered against the up and coming Tsitsipas in the last 16 in his defence of the Australian Open crown in January. "I'm delighted. It's great to win my eighth here in Dubai and in combination with my 100th singles title," he said. "Tough conditions and tough opponents. To win in Marseille and then come here was difficult for Stefanos."

Federer imposed himself on his youthful opponent from the start, breaking him in the very first game and then saving two break points when serving for the opening set. The second was closer, but Federer made his breakthrough against the Tsitsipas delivery in the ninth game and served out to love to clinch the title and enter the tennis history books. "I don't know if he was born when I won my first title," he joked about his youthful opponent in the on-court interviews, but Federer's longevity has been remarkable. Since his first title as a 19-year-old, Federer has won at least one trophy in every season since with at least four titles in 16 of the past 18 seasons, including a record 20 grand slam crowns. Only Connors with 109 titles stands ahead of him, within Federer's reach if he can stay motivated and injury free. The beaten Tsitsipas, who has entered the top 10 after his recent exploits, was also warm in his praise of his tennis hero. "It's an honour to play Roger, I have been idolising you since I was a kid. "I would like to personally congratulate you for 100. You have created history in tennis," he said. History, indeed!

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