LONDON: Roger Federer is out for revenge when he faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in Saturday’s Dubai Tennis Championship final on Saturday.
The Fed-Express stormed into the showdown — his 10th at the Aviation Club — with an impressive 6-2, 6-2 win over Borna Coric. The final will be a repeat of the Australian Open fourth round encounter which saw Tsitsipas beat the Swiss star for the first time, and that is still playing on Federer’s mind.
When asked if the Dubai clash will be a revenge match, the 20-time Grand Slam winner replied: “Maybe a little bit.
“We already played a couple times this year, in the Hopman Cup and then the Australian Open. Obviously I was horribly disappointed and upset that I missed as many breakpoints as I did, had all the opportunities I had.
“That match kind of hurt in some ways. But, you know, it’s part of the game. He did very well to get out of those tricky situations.”
Since the win over the Swiss Tsitsipas has been spoken about as tennis’ next big thing. He has backed that up by winning in Marseilles last week and this week’s run to the Dubai final. And Federer is only too aware of the threat the Greek wonderkid poses.
“What I like about him is how he’s able to take the ball early time and time again,” the 37-year-old said.
“Serve, takes it early, comes to the net. He does that all the time. Then on the backhand side, he has more air, which gives him a bit more margin, to be honest.
“Yeah, for a big guy, he moves well. I mean, no surprise nowadays all the big guys move well. I don’t know how they do it. Back in the day, big guys, men’s, not good movers. Now that’s changed since I came on tour.
“It’s nice to see all the qualities that he has. Like I said, he has different ways to win points, which makes it hard to play against.”
Federer is going for his record-extending eighth title in Dubai and has looked as impressive as ever on the way to the Tsitsipas showdown. And he is feeling good about his game as he goes in search of his 100th title.
“I hope I’m going to play well,” Federer said.
“I’m more focused just on my own game, to be quite honest, than him. “Probably reaching a hundred titles. We’re still far from it, it seems. I’m just going to try to focus and play good tennis.
“I was really happy with my play today in terms of feeling was definitely by far the best one. So that was good.”