‘Fortunate’ Roger Federer shows no signs of slowing after 100th title in Dubai

After winning his 100th career title in Dubai at the weekend, Roger Federer has said he still has hopes of
Updated 03 March 2019
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‘Fortunate’ Roger Federer shows no signs of slowing after 100th title in Dubai

  • Speaking in the aftermath of his landmark victory, the Swiss superstar called the achievement a “dream come true”
  • The question on everybody’s lips now is whether or not he will overtake the great Jimmy Connor

LONDON: After winning his 100th career title in Dubai at the weekend, Roger Federer has put his incredible longevity in tennis down to mental toughness, staying injury-free, a strong support network and a sprinkling of good fortune along the way.

Speaking in the aftermath of his landmark victory, the Swiss superstar called the achievement a “dream come true” and said he was feeling a “deep satisfaction” with the result.

“It was an immediate (satisfaction), because I know what it means. I like these type of numbers or records, to be quite honest.

“A lot of people always emphasize the Grand Slams and all these things, but I play on the ATP Tour, this is where I’ve won so many of them and been around for so long,” he said.

“I didn’t come expecting I was going to win, I hadn’t played since Australia. 
“I’m just happy on all fronts with how my game has progressed, how well I played in the finals, on top of it winning the eighth (in Dubai), winning the 100th, so many magical things going on,” he added.

The question on everybody’s lips now is whether or not he will overtake the great Jimmy Connor’s haul of 109 titles, a feat that Federer has called “extraordinary.”

“I know a lot of people always ask me: ‘Are you going to go for 109?’ but winning titles, to answer the question, is not easy.


“Winning five matches in six days or five matches in five days, it takes a different type of fitness.

“That’s why you have to be fit on many fronts — mentally, physically, also your game has to translate, you have to be able to beat different types of players.

“Not just the grinders, not just the big servers, not just the attacking players, you have to be able to beat them all in successive days,” Federer said.

The Swiss ace has been doing just that since he first burst on to the scene in 2001 by beating his idol Pete Sampras at Wimbledon. So how has he managed to maintain his position as one of the game’s greats for so long?
“I think I needed to get really match tough to be able to be at 100 percent every single day, that was not easy for me, checking my emotions, that was not easy.

“Eventually I figured that part out. Just trying to understand how to play against types of players, I think that was a secret for me.

“Then saying injury-free, without being injury-free, you will never get to these amount of titles, I believe,” he said.

“I couldn’t have done it without a team. My team has been phenomenal throughout.

“I’ve been very fortunate, I’ve said that time and time again from my first coaches all the way through to today — I always had the right coaches always at the right time.”

Having finally achieved the century landmark, and Federer seemingly in the twilight of his career, questions are inevitably being asked about the future, but the world No. 7 says he has no plans of quitting just yet.

“I think every player has those weak five seconds where you think: ‘Really, how much more do I want to do?’ and it could be after losing an epic five-setter, it could be after playing a shocker, it could be sometimes after winning something, I think everybody goes through that.

“I didn’t see myself playing anywhere else but Dubai this week and I’m happy to come here again next year, I’ve enjoyed too much success.


“I like the tournament too much, so I will be here next year, I have a deal for next year.”


Algeria ready for ‘match of a lifetime’ — Guedioura

Updated 19 July 2019
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Algeria ready for ‘match of a lifetime’ — Guedioura

  • The Cup of Nations showpiece marks the climax not only of Algeria’s campaign on the field, but of their fans’ recent political campaign in the stands

CAIRO: Algeria midfielder Adlene Guedioura says Friday’s Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal represents the “match of a lifetime” as his country bids to capture the title for a second time.

The Desert Foxes lifted their lone trophy on home soil in 1990 but coach Djamel Belmadi has reinvigorated a team that crashed out in the group stage two years ago and then flopped in World Cup qualifying.

“I think it’s the match of a lifetime for a lot of players in the team and for Algeria,” said Guedioura, who at 33 is the oldest member of the squad.

The Nottingham Forest journeyman has started five of six games in Egypt and insisted much of the credit for Algeria’s eye-catching performances must go to former national team midfielder Belmadi.

“He really knows the players and what he wants. The good thing is he knows how to get through to the players and how to listen,” said the 48-time international.

“If you don’t have a good cook you can’t have a good recipe. With that we realize we can be all together and it’s important to be a team.

“It’s important for Algeria because we used to have good individuals and now we feel very strong as a team and we want to achieve as a team.”

A Youcef Belaili goal earned Algeria a 1-0 victory over Senegal in the group stage, but Belmadi was quick to point out the statistics were heavily weighted in their opponents’ favor.

“Of course we can lose this match. We have an opponent that is number one in the FIFA rankings for Africa. They were at the World Cup. We were eliminated in the first round in 2017,” said Belmadi.

“If you get to the final, the aim is obviously to win it. The game in the group stage wasn’t decisive but now it is and that’s the difference.”

He added: “The most important is to stay concentrated and determined yet calm at the same time.”

Algeria will have the backing of an additional 4,800 fans for the final.

Some of them will arrive in Cairo on military planes organized by Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.

The Cup of Nations showpiece marks the climax not only of Algeria’s campaign on the field, but of their fans’ recent political campaign in the stands.

In April, long-standing president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned after weekly Friday protests against his expected candidacy for elections, and football fans have been heavily involved in demonstrations.

“We know what’s happening. The people we represent have been wonderful,” said Guedioura

“It’s magnificent what is happening. We’re focused on football but we want to win the final for the people,” he added.