After seeing off Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Dubai Tennis Championships first round, Roger Federer trained his sights on ending the wait for his 100th ATP Tour crown.
Federer recovered from a second-set wobble to advance 6-4 3-6 6-1 on Monday, booking a last-16 clash with Fernando Verdasco.
This ATP 500 event represents Federer’s fourth chance to bring up the landmark, having won his 99th in Basel in October, and the Swiss – a seven-time champion in Dubai – hopes to reach his century of titles at the end of this week.
“Hopefully [I will] in a few days’ time but I still have a long way to go and I hope I don’t have to speak about my 100th title for years or weeks or months to come. I hope it’s going to happen here,” he said in his on-court interview.
“I’m part of the field, it’s great, I’m healthy, I’ll give myself the best chance. The draw is tough, but it’s a great event and thanks for coming out and I hope I can win it here in Dubai so we’ll see what happens.
“Thank you Roger!” @rogerfederer always has time for the fans pic.twitter.com/gc5AvZB0Df
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) February 25, 2019
“I’ve had a very successful run here in the past, some good and some also not so good, that’s how sport is.
“Philipp has caused me a lot of trouble today, he played very well in swirly conditions so I’m very relieved and happy to be back in Dubai and hope I can keep going.
“At the end of the day it’s the result that mattered. I have to find a way to win, I haven’t played since the Australian Open so that makes it a little more tricky.”
Federer’s victory saw him extend his head-to-head record over Kohlschreiber to 14-0, and the Swiss was in no mood to offer the German – or anyone – tips on how to defeat him.
“I’m not so sure I would say it anyway, it has to remain a secret or I’ll be out of the game very quickly!” He added.