DUBAI - Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas, who grew up idolising Roger Federer, was only four when the Swiss magician won his first Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title in 2003.

Sixteen years later, the gifted Greek was reduced to a mere spectator by a sublime Federer in the men’s final on Saturday as the 20-time Grand Slam champion hit a century of career titles. Dubai was waiting with bated breath for Federer’s hundred. And the most admired athlete in the world took the Dubai Centre Court into tennis history books with an emphatic 6-4, 6-4 win over the player who beat him in the Australian Open in January.

“I am delighted. It’s great to win my eighth here in Dubai with the combination of the 100,” said Federer after winning his 8th Dubai title. “I had tough opponents all the way to Stefanos today. What a great run he has had, winning in Marseille last week and then reaching the final here. And for me it’s a dream come true right now.”

It was also a Swiss double this year in Dubai as Belinda Bencic had won the women’s title last week with a dramatic three-set win over Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic. On a chilly evening, the Swiss maestro turned up the heat on the young Greek.

Coming into Saturday’s final after a slugfest against Gael Monfils - the mercurial Frenchman - that lasted two hours and 59 minutes, Tsitsiaps was naturally struggling with his movement. Federer, on the other hand, was light on his feet and hurt the youngster with his silken shots.

Breaking Tsitsipas in the first game was a dream start for the 37-year-old Swiss in front of a packed stadium. As his adoring fans roared after his every point, Federer produced sublime tennis as his graceful volleys, impeccable drop shots and the effortless grace of his serve squeezed the life out of the Greek.

Such was his dominance that the Greek didn’t earn a break point until the final game of the first set. Serving for the first, Federer had three set points at 40/0, but a few unforced errors gave the Greek a look at his idol’s serve. Federer, though, quickly regained control, saving two break points before clinching the first set when Tsitsipas hit a forehand long.

Tsitsipas then raised his level in the next set. And with that elegant one-handed back hand, the Greek traded blows with his hero. With both players remaining solid on their serve, it seemed the second set would go into a tie-break.

But like the most ruthless predator, Federer pounced on the only break point of the set, before delivering a flawless service game to become the only second man after American legend Jimmy Connors to have won 100 career titles. “I don’t know if Stefanos was born when I won my first title. It’s a privilege you know because it was a special treat to play against my heroes growing up, Agassi and Sampras and those players,” said Federer. “I am sure Stefanos is going to have a wonderful career as well. He is already having one. So tennis is in good hands regardless of he won or not.”