Minutes after winning his 100th ATP men’s singles title in a straight set victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas, who stunned Federer at the Australian Open in January, Swiss great Roger Federer claimed he has no interest in smashing every record in the books.
“We are living in an age today where all the records have to be shattered, not for me,” explained the 37-year-old after defeating 11th-ranked Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4 in the finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Saturday.
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I’m just happy I’m still healthy. I’m happy I have such a wonderful team. Family, they all support 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 that are out there,” continued Federer, who is nine wins shy of men’s best Jimmy Connors (109).
With the victory, the 20-time Grand Slam champion joins an extremely exclusive ‘Century Club’, which aside from himself and Connors, also celebrates German Steffi Graf (107), American Chris Evert (154) and Czech-born American Martina Navratilova (167) as it’s elite members.
“I didn’t come here expecting I was going to win to be quite honest,” claimed Federer. “I hadn’t played since Australia. I am just happy on all fronts — on how my game progressed and how well I played in the finals. On top of all that winning my eighth (at Dubai), winning 100 — just so many magical things going on — so I’m very, very happy right now.”
While his latest ATP victory is obviously a milestone moment, according to Federer, it is not necessarily his most memorable.
“Whew, I guess I have a few,” Federer told Eurosport at the post-match press conference. “The French Open in 2009 was a big deal for me. Then, of course, also Hamburg in 2002 when I broke the top 10 and beat [Marat] Safin in the finals — completely out of the blue.
“I think title No.1 was a special one for me,” he continued.
I’m not kidding now if I tell you I was hoping I would not go down as a player to never win a tournament, because I lost my first two quite dramatically.
"So when I came to Milan in 2001, and I beat [Yevgeny] Kafelnikov along the way and [Julien] Boutter in the finals - I think I had match point in the second, lost the second set and went to the third and was able to win it.
“I was just so relieved that I was not going to be that guy who has endless talent and no titles,” Federer concluded.
So, you can imagine today sitting here with 100 how much disbelief there is in-between what happened then and now.
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