Federer claims 1000th win with Brisbane title

Roger Federer claimed his 1000th match win on Sunday as he defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4 in the final of the Brisbane International.

The 33-year-old Federer is just the third player in the Open Era to achieve the feat, joining Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl. His milestone was celebrated on court after the match by Rod Laver and Roy Emerson.

"It's a special moment, no doubt about it," said Federer upon receiving a commemorative award from Laver. "I've played a lot of tennis over the years, so to get to 1000 wins tonight really means a lot to me. I'll never forget this match."

"It's a little bit tough standing here, in front of so many Grand Slam champions; it's an honour," said Raonic in the on-court ceremony. "We all know today was a significant milestone for Roger. When we were warming up, I heard all those titles; I honestly thought he was playing for 2000 match wins today! I think he needs to step it up!"

Federer extended his lead over Raonic to 8-1 in their ATP Head to Head series as he captured his 83rd title in his 125th tour-level final. The Basel native has won at least one ATP World Tour title each year since 2001.

Federer hit 15 winners to just three unforced errors in an impressive opening set. He broke Raonic in the third game, out-maneuvering the Canadian on the baseline. The Swiss carried his momentum into the second set as he quickly opened up a 2-0 lead, courtesy of a double fault from Raonic.

But the Toronto native fought back. With Federer up 30/0 on serve at 2-1, Raonic reeled off eight straight points to get back in contention and lead 3-2. In the eventual tie-break, Raonic won seven successive points from 0-2 down to level the match, clinching the tie-break with an unreturned serve.

In an enthralling final set, Federer saved five break points and Raonic saved four before succumbing in the 10th game. A double fault handed Federer match point at 30/40 and he converted as Raonic’s forehand found the net in the following point.

"Looking back, it's almost nicer winning this way through a tight match with nerves and humid conditions against a great player in a final," said Federer. "It means so much more than just running away with it with the score maybe 6-4, 6-4, which was looking very likely at one stage. I guess I was much more happy having to go three sets in the end rather than winning in straight."

Federer had finished runner-up to Lleyton Hewitt in the Brisbane final one year earlier. He has an 83-42 record in tour-level finals.

The 24-year-old Raonic was bidding to win his seventh ATP World Tour title and dropped to a 6-8 mark in finals.

Raonic said he did everything he could but didn't quite have the answer to beat Federer. Still, he didn't mind being part of the big occasion.

"It was a great tennis match. I stayed out there, competed, gave it my all," said Raonic. "I gave myself a chance after being down a set and a break. I think it just shows the development I've been able to make over the last little while. You put me in that same situation few months and weeks ago and I think I could be out of that stadium pretty quickly.

''It's great to see because you know how much he's done for tennis. He turned pro I think it was like 10 years before me,'' Raonic said. ''It's great to see everything he's done for tennis. The fans he's brought, the media attention he's brought... he's definitely the most popular tennis player of all time.''

Date:11th January 2015, Source: ATP and AP


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