Roger Federer makes classy Stefanos Tsitsipas prediction after Dubai | Tennis | Sport

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Federer beat the Greek youngster 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships yesterday.

That saw the Swiss legend finally become just the second men’s player of all time after Jimmy Connors to reach a century of tournament triumphs, with the American on 109 wins.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion avenged his Australian Open last 16 exit to Tsitsipas in the process as he won inside just 69 minutes in the Middle East.

Tsitsipas represented another tricky opponent after coming off the back of winning the Marseille Open last week, with his run in Dubai helping catapult him into the top 10 for the first time in his career.

Federer’s success in the emirate, where he has now won eight titles, meanwhile moves him back to no 4 going into Indian Wells next week. 

But with the end of his career steadily drawing closer, Federer believes Tsitsipas is one of the players who can help take up the mantle in his absence – tipping him to become a “future star”.

Federer told ATP World Tour after his Dubai win: “It had to be that way, playing a youngster. 

“He had a great run, that’s what I told him as well in Marseille. 

“To back it up here again this week, he had a brutal match against [Gael] Monfils. So I think he should be very proud of his run. 

“Also he started [the year] so well in Australia when he made the semis there, beating me along the way. 

“I think he’s definitely going to be a future star of our game. He already kind of is [a star]. 

“But we’ll see so much more of him. 

“I always enjoy playing the next generation that come through because one day I’ll be sitting on my couch and I’ll be watching them and enjoying their tennis!”

And Tsitsipas also paid tribute to Federer’s achievements over his 21 years on tour.

He said in his on-court interview: It’s an honour to play against Roger. I’ve said it thousands of times, I’ve been idolising him since the age of six.

“In Monte Carlo, I had the opportunity to watch you [Federer] play and you put the biggest smile on my face. And now sharing the court is even better.

“I would like to personally congratulate you for the 100. It’s been a long journey I’m pretty sure.

“Getting to 100 is completely insane, I don’t know how you got there. I’ll be happy with 100 wins!

“It’s a great achievement. Not many people have achieved that so double congratulations.

“You’ve created history in tennis. Keep doing what you are doing.”



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