Federer had won the Dubai event seven times before this year, and was aiming to win his first title of 2019. He had a tough couple of matches early on, edging past German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in the first round and surviving a barrage from Fernando Verdasco in the second round before scraping through 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Federer had relatively easier matches in the quarterfinal and semifinal though. He beat Marton Fucsovics 7-6, 6-4 before thrashing Borna Coric of Croatia 6-2, 6-2 in the semi-finals.
In the final, Federer was facing a young opponent who had defeated him the last time they had played each other - in the fourth round of the Australian Open earlier this year. But Federer prevailed by breaking the Greek's serve once in each set, and facing only two break points himself - both of which he saved.
With this win, Federer becomes only the second player ever to win 100 or more ATP titles, after Jimmy Connors who won 109.
Federer now has 23 ATP 500 titles. His 100 titles include eight Wimbledon titles, six Australian Open titles, five US Open titles, one French Open title, six ATP Finals trophies and 27 ATP Masters 1000 titles.
It was double delight for Swiss tennis as Federer joined Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the winners' circle; Bencic had won the Dubai women's singles title last week, defeating Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in the final.
Federer and Bencic had together won the 2019 Hopman Cup for Switzerland, defeating the German team of Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev in the final. That means the two of them have won the exact same titles so far in 2019.Published 03 Mar 2019, 02:31 IST