100th Win in Dubai Will Remain in My Heart, Says Federer

Published March 3rd, 2019 - 11:27 GMT
The 20-time Grand Slam champion confirmed that he would indeed be back in Dubai.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion confirmed that he would indeed be back in Dubai.

After reaching a new landmark in his extraordinary journey with his 100th career title in Dubai, Roger Federer said he was not obsessed with the idea of playing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Salah Tahlak, Tournament Director of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, drew loud cheers from the crowd at the presentation ceremony on Saturday evening when he announced that Federer would be coming back to Dubai next year.

Having already dismissed retirement rumours at the start of the Dubai tournament, Federer confirmed later that he would indeed be back in Dubai.

But he left everyone speculating on whether he would be still be playing when the 2020 Olympics start next July.

"The idea was for the people to know that I am coming back (to Dubai) next year," said Federer at the post-match press conference.

"They said they were interested to have me again next year, if it was okay to announce it during the week. I said, 'absolutely, we can do that'.

"I'm happy to come here again next year. I've enjoyed too much success. I like the tournament too much. So I will be here next year," he added.

So will he wear the Swiss colous again at the Olympics?

"I don't know how I'm going to qualify. And if I do, I don't know if I'm still playing," the 37-year-old Federer said.

"Still too far away for me. Yeah, I don't know. I just don't want my mind to go there. I think if it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't.

"I think it's not like my first Olympics where obviously I always wanted to be part of it. So we'll see how it's going to play out."

The 20-time Grand Slam champion says winning his 100th career title was one of the most special moments in his life.

"I think this one has a deep satisfaction because I know what it means. I like these type of numbers or records, to be quite honest. A lot of people always emphasize all the slams and all these things. I play on the ATP Tour. This is where I've won so many of them," he said.

Saturday's win also gave Federer his eighth Dubai title in his trophy-laden career.

"I haven't thought about it. I'm not that crazy yet. I don't know. It takes a lot of space in the trophy cabinet. But it's a special one. At least it will stand out," he said when asked about where he would place the Dubai trophy at his home.

"I don't have special trophies for number one, whatever, 25, 50, so forth. I think it's just going to have a normal place. In my heart, of course, I know I won my 100th here in Dubai."

Federer then revealed the secret to his amazing career.

"You have to be fit on many fronts: mentally, physically, also your game has to translate," he said.

"You have to be able to beat different types of players, not just the grinders, not just the big servers, not just the attacking players. You have to be able to beat them all in successive days.

"I think that's a tricky thing to do for a lot of players. That's why you have to improve your game so much that you can do that. Only a few players can do that every year, five, six, seven times or more during a single year.

"For that you need to be able to adapt your game to conditions, got to be able to play through the pain because I've been hurt or sick many times during events that I ended up winning. Some of them being Slams, as well!"

By Rituraj Borkakoty

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