Roger Federer's Milestone Titles: In His Own Words

37-year-old Swiss lifted his 100th tour-level title in Dubai

Roger Federer made history on Saturday evening, winning the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to become the second man in the Open Era to reach 100 tour-level titles, joining Jimmy Connors (109).

In his own words, the 37-year-old Swiss looks back on some of his biggest milestone titles.

Title No. 1, 2001 Milan
Final: Defeated Julien Boutter 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-4

“I’d lost my previous two finals, in the Marseille final and Basel final, so I really wanted to win my first ATP title. That was a big week for me. I beat some great players along the way to get there," the Swiss recalled.

Federer defeated Goran Ivanisevic and Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively, before defeating Julien Boutter to earn his maiden moment.

"That was great fun and then beating Boutter in the final, I felt like I had pressure because maybe I went into that final as a little bit of a favourite," Federer said. "But it was fast indoors and Boutter was a big server, so you never knew what was going to happen."

"I have a really small space in the career of Federer. I am the first one to lose in a final against him. But many guys did the same as me," Boutter said, cracking a laugh.

“I think [it was] more of a relief than actual joy and happiness. I think that kicked in like 24 hours later," Federer recalled. "I remember what I said, that at least I have one. I never thought I’d make so many wins.”

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Title No. 25, 2005 Dubai
Final: Defeated Ivan Ljubicic 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-3

Ahead of the 2005 tournament, Federer and Andre Agassi went to the top of the Burj Al Arab to play sky-high tennis on a helipad. “It was the iconic shot that went around the world,” said Federer.

The two players would meet in the semi-finals, where Federer recalled another memorable shot against the American. “On break point, I hit one of the most ridiculous shots I've ever hit. I remember it was sort of a flick lob on break point. You can see by my reaction, I started laughing after the point... It’s still one of my favourite, best shots of all-time for me in my career.”

The Swiss, who survived his two opening matches by prevailing in a third-set tie-break, faced current coach Ivan Ljubicic in the final. Although it was only the second month of the season, the match was already their third clash for a title.

Ljubicic joked during the trophy ceremony: "I’m a little bit sick of this guy."

“He always thinks I was very lucky,” said Federer with a laugh. “But he’s joking of course. Or maybe not, I’ll have to check.”

Watch Roger's Hot Shot Against Agassi:

Title No. 50, 2007 Cincinnati
Final: Defeated James Blake 6-1, 6-4

Federer arrived at the Western & Southern Open fresh off a disappointing third-set tie-break loss in the Montreal final against Novak Djokovic. In the semi-finals, the Swiss battled past former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in a final-set tie-break, giving him a chance to take home title No. 50 against home favourite James Blake.

"I remember the final against James Blake. It was a good one. I think I came out of the blocks very fast, served well, got the one break I needed and then served it home," Federer said. "It was my 50th, so it was a big one.”

It was Federer's second of seven triumphs in Cincinnati.

“Cincinnati [is] one of my favourite hunting grounds on the [ATP] Tour," Federer said. "I've always played very well there."

Title No. 75, 2012 Wimbledon
Final: Defeated Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 (Read More)

The Swiss star arrived at Wimbledon having not lifted a Grand Slam trophy since the 2010 Australian Open. But Federer defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, and fended off Andy Murray's efforts to end Great Britain's 76-year wait for a home-grown Wimbledon champion.

"Massive tournament for me. Also brought me back to World No. 1," Federer said. "The Wimbledon win was epic for me. It was great to see my girls there at the trophy ceremony. That was very emotional for me.

"It was a tough one, because it was also played outdoors and then indoors with the rain, under the roof. That was special. And I played a great semis against Novak. I finished very strong that year."

Federer joined William Renshaw and Pete Sampras as the only seven-time winners at the All England Club, adding to his triumphs in 2003-2007 and 2009.

Follow Roger's Media Tour After His 2012 Wimbledon Win:

Title No. 100, 2019 Dubai
Final: Defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 (Read & Watch)

In October 2018, Federer triumphed in Basel at his hometown tournament to lift trophy No. 99. From then on, the countdown to No. 100 began. 

At the 2019 Australian Open, Federer was stunned in the fourth round by #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. That was his third tournament since Basel. But the fourth event proved the charm and, fittingly enough, Federer beat Tsitsipas in the final to join Connors in the '100 Club'.

“Sitting here today, having won 100, it’s disbelief. Then last year, after reaching 96, 97, I started feeling maybe 100 was possible, and it was," Federer said. "I’d like to thank the team, everyone who's made it possible for myself. I’m privileged still to be playing this sport right now today.”

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