Federer wins Dubai final to join Connors in century club

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Add a century of career titles to Roger Federer’s staggering list of achievements in tennis.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion became the second male tennis player to win 100 tour-level tournament titles in the professional era when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Dubai Championships on Saturday.

Jimmy Connors is the other male player to reach the milestone, and the American ended his career on 109 titles.

By beating a player nearly half his age in just 69 minutes, the 37-year-old Federer continued his record of winning at least one title every season since his first in 2001 in Milan – when he was 19.

Eight of his victories have come in Dubai.

“It’s an absolute dream come true right now,” Federer said on the court.

As well as his record haul of Grand Slam titles, which includes a record eight wins at Wimbledon, Federer has won a record six ATP Finals titles and topped the rankings for a record 310 weeks – including 237 straight.

In a battle of the generations, Federer partially avenged his loss to the 20-year-old Tsitsipas, a rising star from Greece, in the last 16 of the Australian Open in January.

Federer broke serve in the first game and took the first set on his fourth set point.

The second set was more even, but Tsitsipas made the first big mistake in dumping an easy shot into the net to loose serve for 5-4. Federer held serve to love to join Connors in the century club.

Parma Ladies Open semifinals postponed to same day as final

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PARMA, Italy — The semifinals of the Parma Ladies Open have been postponed by a day and will be played shortly before Saturday’s final.

The decision was made because of persistent rain at the clay-court tournament on Friday.

Top-seeded Maria Sakkari will start on center court against Danka Kovinic at 10:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT) on Saturday before sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan’s match against Mayar Sherif.

The final will be after 6 p.m. local time, shortly after the doubles final – with the doubles semifinals also being played earlier in the day on a different court.

Top-seeded Sakkari reaches semifinals at Parma Ladies Open

Maria Sakkari
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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past 97th-ranked Maryna Zanevska 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday at the Parma Ladies Open to reach her first semifinal since the grass-court season.

Sakkari, who has gone three sets in all three of her matches this week, will face Danka Kovinic for a spot in the final of the clay-court event after Kovinic beat Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-4.

In her previous semifinal, Sakkari lost to Belinda Bencic in Berlin in June. The seventh-ranked Greek player was eliminated by Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open on Aug. 31.

In the bottom half of the draw, Mayar Sherif of Egypt beat American opponent Lauren Davis 7-6 (2), 6-3 to reach her second career semifinal. Sherif next faces Ana Bogdan, who defeated fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 7-6 (6).