Roger Federer is one win away from clinching a 100th ATP Tour singles title following a straight sets win over Borna Coric in the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday.
Second seed Federer claimed two breaks of Croatian Coric’s serve in either set on the way to a 6-2, 6-2 win that took just over an hour.
Stefanos Tsitsipas now stands between Federer and an eighth Dubai title – the Greek battling back from a set and a break down to beat Gael Monfils in Friday’s first semifinal.
Should he complete his century in Saturday’s final, Federer would become only the second man, after American Jimmy Connors, to reach 100 career tour titles.
However, Tsitsipas won his only previous meeting with Federer, completing a four-set victory over the Swiss in a round of 16 match at this year’s Australian Open.
“It’s been a successful hunting ground for me here,” Federer said about reaching the final in Dubai.
“It hasn’t started easy to be honest, you know, the first tournament I played here in Dubai people weren’t happy with my performance, so I came back the following year and tried to prove them wrong, that they didn’t see the right Roger, the bad one, you know, the emotional one.
“And I came back and won and then, I think, four years on the trot, so it’s been a good place and I am really happy that this year again I was able to make the finals after not playing last year. Just to pack it up and prove to myself and the fans that Dubai works out very well for me usually and I am still in the running. So, I hope I can play my best in the finals now.”
Federer said he was looking forward to facing Tsitsipas in the final.
“We had a good match against each other at the Hopman Cup in Perth and then another good one in Melbourne, so here we go, third time, you know.
“We’ll see how it’s going to go, completely different conditions, to some extent he had a tough match against (Gael) Monfils tonight and he won also last week in Marseille so he’s really having a great couple of weeks now and I hope I can play maybe a little bit better than I did in Melbourne, but I think it’s going to be tough because Stefanos has really got the confidence right now,” Federer added.