Roger Federer has put an end to speculation this will be his final year on tour by announcing he’ll be returning to the Dubai Tennis Championships in 2020.
Federer conceded he was unsure how much petrol he had left in the tank after becoming only the second man in the open era to claim 100 ATP titles.
However he did confirm that he doesn’t plan on retiring this year, reportedly telling the Dubai tournament director that he’ll be back in 2020.
The tournament’s major sponsor also appeared to confirm that news during the official presentation.
“We congratulate Roger Federer on his fantastic achievement in winning 100 titles, and winning here in Dubai for the eighth time, more than any other player,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free.
“It is remarkable that his first title here came as long ago as 2003, and we look forward to welcoming both Federer and our ladies champion Belinda Bencic again in 2020.”
Federer joined American Jimmy Connors (109) in the exclusive 100 titles club after beating 20-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4 in the final.
The Swiss great also avenged his shock loss to Tsitsipas in the Australian Open fourth round in January.
“I’m delighted. It’s great to win my eighth here in Dubai and in combination with my 100th singles title,” Federer said.
“It’s been a difficult week for me, tough opponents throughout but credit to Stefanos as well, he played a great tournament.
“As for records, we live in an age where every record has to be shattered, but not for me. We’ll see how much more I have left in the tank, but reaching 100 is a dream and tonight was a very special evening, but it’s not about breaking every single record.”
Federer, who had been stuck on 99 titles since triumphing at his hometown Basel tournament in October, broke Tsitsipas in the first game of the match and saved two break points at 5-4 to claim the first set in 36 minutes.
Tsitsipas, who will break into the top 10 for the first time on Monday, held firm up to 4-4 in the second set before the 37-year-old Federer switched gears to seal the decisive break and close out the victory.
“I don’t know if Stefanos was born when I won my first title,” Federer joked.
“It’s a privilege (to play against potential champions) because I’ll be watching them on TV. It was a treat to play Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. I’m sure Stefanos will have a wonderful career.
“Tennis is in good hands regardless if I’m there or not.”
Federer has won at least one ATP trophy in nearly every season since his first title, missing out only in 2016 when he suffered a knee injury.
The Swiss won 24 of his 100 titles in consecutive finals from October 2003 to October 2005 and the magnitude of Federer’s achievement was not lost on Tsitsipas.
“Just thinking about it, getting to 100 is completely insane, I don’t know how you did that. I’d be happy with 100 (match) wins… I’m joking,” he said.
“It’s an honour playing Roger… I’ve been idolising him since I was six.”