BRISBANE: Roger Federer beat Milos Raonic in an enthralling final at the Brisbane International on Sunday to register his 1,000th ATP career win and collect his 83rd title, completing the perfect build up to this month’s Australian Open.
The 17-time major winner was forced to absorb some superb shot-making and blistering serves from the towering 24-year-old Canadian before notching a seesawing 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4 win at the Pat Rafter Arena to join Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071) as the only men to reach the magical milestone.
The Swiss master was presented with the tournament trophy by Roy Emerson, a 12-time Grand Slam winner, and also received a special framed photo marking his 1,000th win from Rod Laver, the only tennis player to win all four majors in the same year on two separate occasions.
“It’s a special moment, no doubt about that,” Federer said at the post-match presentation. “To get to 1,000 match wins in front of you guys … it really means a lot to me. I’ll never forget this match.”
Federer broke Raonic’s serve in the third game and again in the opening game of the second set before the Canadian broke back in the fourth game and then dominated the tie-breaker, winning the last seven points to level the match at 1-1.
After overcoming his early nerves, third-seeded Raonic was playing a cool, composed game until he served his first double-fault of the third set, giving Federer championship point. He netted a forehand on the next point to end the 2 hour, 13-minute slugfest.
Published in Dawn