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Dubai Flashback: Roger Federer wins his first title as world no. 1



Roger Federer became world no. 1 at the beginning of February 2004 following his second Major title at the Australian Open. A few weeks later, Roger defended his Dubai Open title and lifted his first trophy as the world’s best player.

Federer faced Feliciano Lopez in the final and scored a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory in an hour and 35 minutes for his second trophy in the desert

. Roger played his first tournament as world no. 1 in Rotterdam and lost to Tim Henman in the quarter-final.

After a much-needed rest, Federer started his Dubai title defense with a tight victory over Marat Safin in two tie breaks. The Swiss ousted Tommy Robredo, Andrei Pavel and Jarkko Nieminen to advance into the title clash and set the duel against Lopez.

Roger made a slower start before taking charge in sets two and three, dropping three games and sealing the deal in no time to celebrate the first title as world no. 1.

Roger Federer defended his Dubai title over Feliciano Lopez in 2004.

Roger lost 16 points in 13 service games, getting broken once in the opener and dominating sets two and three to score four breaks and notch his 13th ATP title.

Lopez had more winners, and Federer had the upper hand in other segments. He hit fewer unforced errors and forced more mistakes from the opponent to control the pace after the opener and bring the victory home in no time. Roger was in front in the shortest and mid-range exchanges.

He ruled the court with his serve and first groundstrokes to leave the opponent behind and add 300 points to his tally. Lopez made a perfect start, stealing Roger’s serve in the encounter’s first game and holding with an ace in game four to open a 3-1 gap.

The Spaniard fired a forehand winner in game six for a hold at love and fended off five break chances at 4-3 to remain ahead following a service winner. Feliciano wrapped up the set with a volley winner at 5-4 after saving another break point.

Federer finally grabbed a break in the second set’s fourth game. He landed a volley winner and gathered momentum that would keep him safe until the end of the encounter. The Swiss confirmed the break with a commanding hold and delivered another break in game six following the Spaniard’s forehand mistake.

Roger wrapped up the set with an unreturned serve in the seventh game to gather a boost and become the favorite ahead of the decider. Federer stole Lopez’s serve in the third game and extended the gap with another break at 3-1 when his rival netted an easy volley.

World no. 1 served for the victory at 5-2 and fired a booming serve to celebrate his second consecutive title in the desert.

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