Roger Federer to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final

Roger Federer to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final

07/02/2019 - 12:18

Roger Federer is one win away from a 100th ATP singles title after a semi-final victory over Borna Coric at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Federer, 37, showed his best form of the tournament in easing to a 6-2 6-2 win over the 22-year-old Croat.

He now faces Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Federer in the Australian Open last 16 in January.

A win will make Federer the second male player to win 100 singles titles after American Jimmy Connors, who won 109.

“Tsitsipas is tough to play, tough to beat,” said Federer. “He showed me that at the Australian Open, how hard he is. Maybe the final is a little bit of a revenge match.

“Reaching 100 titles – we’re still far from it. I’m just going to try to focus and play good tennis,”

Tsitsipas recovered from a set and 3-1 down to get past Frenchman Gael Monfils 4-6 7-6(4) 7-6(4), a win which will propel the 20-year-old into the world’s top 10 for the first time in his career.

“The whole match changed out of nowhere,” Tsitsipas said.

“I’ve improved since last year. Beating the big guys, big players, players that have been in the top 10, it means a lot.”

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Fulham’s fanfare accompanying the appointment of Claudio Ranieri after Slavisa Jokanovic was sacked in November labelled the Italian as “risk free and ready made for the Premier League”.

Those words were thrown back in the face of Fulham’s owners via a banner brandished during the 2-0 loss at Southampton that ended Ranieri’s calamitous 106-day reign at Craven Cottage.

And they are made to look almost farcical given Ranieri’s dismal record of three wins from 17 games as Fulham now looked doomed to relegation, standing 10 points from Premier League safety with only 10 games left.

A racist incident at a Quebec hockey arena has reopened old wounds about what some former players are calling the dark side of Canada’s national pastime.

Jonathan-Ismael Diaby is not used to quitting.

At 24, the defenseman has been playing semi-pro hockey hockey for almost a decade. On the ice, he is focused, methodical and surprisingly agile for his 6’5″ frame. He also happens to be black.

But after fans hurled racial insults at him and harassed his family, he decided to walk out mid-game.

“I was conflicted… I just wanted to fling my stick in the guy’s face,” he told the BBC after the incident.

“But then I was thinking of doing what I did, which was to leave the game peacefully and make a change after.”

Trying to raise awareness for the racism that visible minority athletes face is what he is doing now.

Video of the incident and Diaby’s subsequent openness about the experience have caused a stir in Canada where hockey is more than just a sport, it is an intrinsic part of national identity.

The video shows a fan of the opposing team confronting Diaby in the penalty box. The man can be seen making a racist gesture, and showing Diaby a picture on his cell phone of a baboon.

Soon, several fans began to harass Diaby’s family and his girlfriend, touching their hair and telling his father (a former pro-footballer in the Ivory Coast) to “go back home”.

That’s when Diaby decided enough was enough – so he went to the locker room to change and then left with his family.

“Being a visible minority, we deal with it every day,” he says. “But that was the first time I saw a big group of people pushing towards negativity like that.”

League commissioner Jean-François Laplant has apologised to Diaby and his family.

“Racist, sexist, homophobic comments are completely unacceptable and cannot be tolerated, whether it’s in everyday life or in our arenas,” he said.

But it is not the first time a hockey player has been harassed for his race.

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