Swiss tennis player Roger Federer claimed the 100th ATP title of his career at the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after beating 20-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4 on Saturday.
The 20-times Grand Slam champion is now the second man in the Open Era with 100 titles after American Jimmy Connors who won 109.
The game avenged Federer’s shock defeat by Tsitsipas at the Australian Open that thrust the young Greek into the limelight in January.
The 20-year-old Greek gun may have lost the final but a run to the final in Marseille saw him become the first Greek to ever make the top 10 of men’s tennis.
“It (his rise) educated people from Greece that had no idea about tennis before, to get to know the sport better,” Tsitsipas said on Saturday.
“I’m proud. I’m a symbol for that country. A star, if you can call it, who is putting a big impact into the sport in Greece, outside Greece as well. But I’m actually really proud, as you said, specifically for Greece because Greece is not known for its tennis history, any tennis moments.
“I’m very proud that I’m Greek. I mean, everybody should feel proud for what they are. I’m really proud that I’m Greek. Representing those colors, representing this flag, it’s the biggest honour.
“I feel like a team when I’m playing for Greece. It feels like teamwork, not individual thing.”
Tsitsipas grew up idolising Federer but said he tried very hard to stop the Swiss from winning his 100th career title. Nonetheless, he felt happy for Federer as he knows the hard work it took to get him where it is. He said that he felt the atmosphere showing that the crowd was really cheering for him.