Roger Federer described winning his 100th career title as a “special, magical” achievement on Saturday but the 37-year-old insists he won’t obsess over passing Jimmy Connors’ all-time men’s record of 109.
Federer reached the landmark with a ruthless 6-4, 6-4 dismantling of Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Dubai Championship final, his eighth trophy at the Gulf event.
His 100th title comes 18 years after he captured his first in Milan.
Federer, the winner of a record 20 Grand Slam titles, said that he’s not particularly targeting the 109-mark of Connors.
“A lot of people always ask me about, ‘Are you going to go for 109?’”, said Federer.
“To answer the question is not easy. Winning five matches in six days or five matches in five days, it takes a different type of fitness.
“You can play a great tournament, play a brutal semi, you get unlucky sometimes with the schedule, whatever it may be.
He added: “That’s why you have to be fit on many fronts: mentally, physically; you have to be able to beat different types of players: beat them all on successive days.”
Connors, who set his record during his glory years in the 1970s and 1980s, took to Twitter to congratulate the Swiss star.
“Welcome to the ‘Triple Digit’ tournament victory club @rogerfederer — I’ve been a bit lonely - glad to have the company,” wrote the American.
Federer, who remains a long way back from the all-time mark of 167 titles set in the women’s game by Martina Navratilova, said that his two-decade longevity was key to the title century.
“It’s a deep satisfaction, an immediate one. A lot of people always emphasise all the Slams, but I play on the ATP Tour. This is where I’ve won so many of them. Been around for so long,” he added.
Federer has 100 titles in 152 finals appearances on the ATP tour (20 Grand Slams in 30 Slam Finals). He needs 10 more titles to pass Connors (109) for most all-time; Rafael Nadal (80) and Novak Djokovic (73) are next on the list of active players who are closest to the mark.
Here are some other statistics from the Swiss Maestro’s landmark win:
More statistics here.
(With AFP and ATP inputs)