History was made at the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships as Roger Federer joined Jimmy Connors as the only men to grab a century of tournament championships, defeating fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 in the final.
The Swiss won his record eighth title in Dubai, avenging his four-set loss to Tsitsipas at this year's Australian Open. Despite the loss, the Greek becomes the first man from his nation to reach the Top 10 in the ATP Tour rankings.
Federer gains early break to take first set
With such a momentous occasion possibly on tap, Tsitsipas was broken to begin the match. At 15-15, he duffed a backhand volley, watched as Federer blazed a forehand winner down the line for two break points and missed his own forehand as the Swiss took a quick lead.
Federer's net play was immaculate as he was mixing in drop shots with spectacular volleys. For his part, the Greek staved off the Swiss' challenge in his next service game to hold and keep pace.
A key moment came at 2-1, 30-30 when Tsitsipas framed a backhand. After a smart slice by Federer, the fifth seed netted a forehand to give the world number six a 3-1 advantage.
Serving for the set at 5-4, the Swiss nearly gave away a 40-0 lead, facing two break points and after saving both, won the set on his fourth chance after Tsitsipas pulled a forehand wide to move within a set of a historic accomplishment.
Late break paves the way for Federer's 100th title
Tsitsipas started more solidly in the second set than in the first as he held to start. He soon found trouble in his next service game as Federer pushed him to 30-30, but a forehand winner and ace allowed the Greek to escape.
Both players were holding with ease, but in different ways: Federer continuing to excel when coming forward while Tsitsipas' serve looked to be improving dramatically, back-to-back love holds giving him a 4-3 lead.
The ninth game proved to be decisive as the Swiss picked up an insane half-volley at 30-0 and eventually fired a forehand winner. That spectacular sequence paved the way for a break when the Greek dumped a forehand into the net.
Serving for his 100th career title, Federer held to love to claim the championship and record another milestone in his legendary career. The Swiss needs just ten titles to surpass Connors for most all-time.