After Roger Federer took his tally of ATP Tour singles titles to three figures in Dubai, we pick out five of his most memorable triumphs.
Eighteen years after he claimed his first ATP Tour singles title, the great Roger Federer reached the 100 mark with a defeat of Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Saturday.
The Swiss maestro matched a feat that only Jimmy Connors has achieved by bringing up a century of tour-level wins with a 6-4 6-4 victory.
Federer has amassed 20 grand slam titles in his illustrious career and is still going strong at the age of 37.
Here are five of the most memorable triumphs for one of the great sporting icons.
Century maker. History maker.
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) March 2, 2019
A 21-year-old Federer lived up the hype by claiming a first major title at The All England Club in 2003.
The unseeded Mark Philippoussis was no match for the Basel native, who was reduced to tears on Centre Court following a straight-sets victory in a one-sided final.
Fourth seed Federer – complete with his ponytail – dropped just one set during the tournament, but it was not all plain sailing as he was troubled by a back injury in a fourth-round victory over Feliciano Lopez.
He declared, “I hope it won’t be my last [slam title]” after seeing off Philippoussis. There was really nothing to worry about on that front …
US OPEN 2005
Federer arrived at Flushing Meadows in 2005 as the defending champion, with five grand slam titles under his belt.
Having won Wimbledon for a third consecutive year, he also proved to be unstoppable in New York.
A 35-year-old Andre Agassi was unable to live with Federer, the top seed again turning on the style on the big occasion to win 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-1.
Agassi stated: “I think Roger is the best I’ve played against. To watch him evolve has been amazing.”
FRENCH OPEN 2009
Even while he was firmly established as one of the best players in the world and a global sporting icon, there was one honour that remained beyond Federer for some time.
Rafael Nadal’s incredible dominance of the French Open prevented his rival from completing a career Grand Slam, but that elusive Roland Garros triumph finally came in 2009.
Nadal had beaten Federer in three consecutive finals in Paris until Robin Soderling sensationally defeated the Spaniard in the fourth round.
Federer grasped his opportunity to lift the Coupe des Mousquetaires, beating the Swedish outsider 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 to finally have his day on the famous clay, after coming through five-setters with Tommy Haas and Juan Martin del Potro.
Still on a high after that success in the French capital, Federer faced an almighty battle to regain his Wimbledon title and claim a record 15th major as Andy Roddick pushed him all the way in a classic final.
Having dropped just one set en route to another decider, he was taken the distance by the American but was eventually able to celebrate a 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 16-14 victory.
Federer served 50 aces in a contest that lasted four hours and 16 minutes, with Roddick unable to deny the favourite a title that moved him beyond Pete Sampras’ tally of 14 grand slam crowns.
He said after making history: “I’m happy I broke the record here because this is always the tournament that’s meant the most to me.”
AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2017
Having become so accustomed to claiming grand slam titles, Federer went five years without one until defeating Nadal in a Melbourne thriller in 2017.
He had not played a competitive tournament since Wimbledon the previous year, but broke down in tears after winning a classic 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3.
Nadal twice pegged 17th seed Federer back and the Swiss maestro needed a medical timeout in the final set before thwarting his fellow great.
“You don’t know if they ever come back, these moments.” an emotional Federer said after rolling back the years. He went on to win Wimbledon again later in the year before retaining the Australian Open title for grand slam number 20 in 2018.