All eyes will be on the India-Australia ODI series which commences today. This is the last chance for India to experiment before the World Cup. Whilst the focus is here, elsewhere in Dubai, there is a man who could register a century of titles to his own name. This man is none other than the great Roger Federer, who will be gunning for his 100th ATP title. It would be a marvelous achievement, if it happens, as it would bring his total tally to nine less than the Open Era title leader Jimmy Connors, who has a staggering 109.
Federer will be facing Stefanos Tsitspias, the young Greek, who will have the opportunity to win back-to-back titles. The last time these two clashed was in the Australian Open Round of 16, where the young Greek prevailed over the Swiss master in four enthralling sets. Federer will be aware of the threat that the young Greek poses. But the great man will find a lot of belief within himself to accomplish the milestone.
Federer will be the favourite going into the final, despite their previous result at the Australian Open going the way of the Greek. All throughout the tournament the Swiss maestro battled difficult times against Fernando Verdasco and Phillip Kohlschreiber, beating them both in the 3rd set. In a best of 3 sets, Federer clearly goes in as the favourite.
Tsitsipas too overcame the Frenchman Gael Monfils which was a significant achievement for the young star. The Frenchman plays exuberant tennis and is a force to contend with in the ATP leg. Conquering him in 3 sets and coming from a set down, the Greek has shown that he is fully ready to face the challenge that anyone throws at him.
This final will most likely go all the way and the odds are in favour of Federer mainly because the Swiss this time will be ready to face the challenge thrown towards him by the Greek and also because of his sheer experience of playing in so many finals. The weather at Dubai may also have its role to play, as yesterday the conditions were a bit windy. Federer doesn't enjoy these conditions yet he was able to overcome his opponent. This would be an ominous sign for the young Greek sensation.
Nevertheless, this would be a fascinating encounter and maybe even a historic one for Roger Federer.Published 02 Mar 2019, 12:16 IST