Roger Federer makes surprise Jimmy Connors claim after sealing 100th | Tennis | Sport


The Swiss legend became the second man to reach the landmark of 100 triumphs yesterday, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

That meant the 37-year-old finally ended his wait to reach his century having missed chances to do so at the Paris Masters, the ATP Finals and the Australian Open.

Already the most successful Grand Slam champion of all time with 20 major successes, it had been suggested Federer might extend his career and try to close in on American Connors’ all-time record.

Yet Federer insists he is not particularly hell-bent on becoming the outright most successful men’s player of all time.

“Look what Jimmy did, that’s very special. No doubt about it,” Federer told ATP World Tour.

“He played for a long time, won the US Open on three different surfaces. 

“That won’t be possible for us, for our generation, because it’s stuck on hard courts now. [He has] So many cool records that can never be broken or achieved. 

“I know a lot of people are going to say, ‘Now you have to reach Jimmy Connors’ record!’ 

“But I’m not that kind of a guy even though people might think I am. 

“I draw inspiration from it but I’m not here to shatter every record out there. 

“He’s a special player and a special legend in the sport. If he keeps that record, it’s all good. 

“I’m just happy to have reached 100 in my career.”

Federer has enjoyed huge success in the Middle East with this eighth win in Dubai.

And the tennis icon admitted it is hard to believe he has won 100 events on the ATP Tour.

He added: “I’ve been coming here [to Dubai] since 2002, I’ve won my eighth title – that goes in connection with the 100th. 

“I’ve spent a lot of time here in the offseason getting ready for other places like Shanghai. It’s definitely a bit of a home-court advantage here to some extent. 

“Also I just seem to play well in February, also winning Rotterdam last year. It just kind of works out for me! 

“Winning here again is definitely a crazy moment in my career.

“I was hoping one day I was going to win a title before that Milan final. I did and I’m sitting here today having won 100, I don’t know, it’s disbelief. 

“The last few titles ever since I reached, I don’t know, 96, 97, I’ve started to feel like, ‘Maybe 100 is possible.’ And it was. It’s a big moment for me. 

“I’d like to thank the team, everybody who’s made it possible for myself. People only see the player, the guy who does it, but there’s so much work that goes on behind the scenes from the friends and family and parents and wife and coaches. 

“A big thank you to all of them, it’s been special.”

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