It took Roger Federer just four tournaments in four months to move from 99 to an astonishing 100 career titles.
That may have felt like an age, leaving fans disappointed every time he fell short, but for the 37-year-old it was worth the wait.
The feat arrived in Dubai eighteen years and one month after winning his first in Milan, when he was just 19 years old.
“I’m delighted. It’s great to win my eighth here in Dubai and in combination with my 100th singles title,” Federer said, conceding Jimmy Connors’ world-record 109 mark isn’t on his agenda.
“As for records, we live in an age where every record has to be shattered, but not for me. We’ll see how much more I have left in the tank, but reaching 100 is a dream and tonight was a very special evening, but it’s not about breaking every single record.”
That might not be the case but when history is made it’s worth appreciating.
To celebrate his milestone, the ATP released a mesmerising 75-second video of every single time Federer lifted a trophy.
Watch the clip in the video player above
From youthful hairstyles to a variety of outfits, revisiting his career achievements is a proper trip down memory lane.
Fans even joined in on the fun with their own graphics:
— Jeu, Set et Maths (@JeuSetMaths) March 2, 2019
The victory means the Swiss great has won at least one ATP trophy in nearly every season since his first title, missing out only in 2016 when he suffered a knee injury.
He won 24 of his 100 titles in consecutive finals from October 2003 to October 2005 and the magnitude of Federer’s achievement was not lost on his opponent in the Dubai decider, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“Just thinking about it, getting to 100 is completely insane, I don’t know how you did that. I’d be happy with 100 (match) wins… I’m joking,” the young Greek star said.
“It’s an honour playing Roger. I’ve been idolising him since I was six.”
Retirement speculation ended once and for all
After winning his 100th title in Dubai, Federer put an end to talk that this will be his final year on tour.
Tournament organisers announced after the superstar’s win that he would be back with an appearance in the 2020 edition.
After some confusion, Federer himself confirmed the news.
Many fans and pundits thought he had signalled his intentions to retire at the end of 2019 when he decided to end a three-year hiatus from the clay-court season.
But the popular opinion is that the 20-time grand slam champion wants to keep playing until at least the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.