Raonic takes revenge on Federer to win in Brisbane
(Reuters) - An inspired Milos Raonic toppled Roger Federer 6-4 6-4 to win the Brisbane International on Sunday and avenge his defeat to the Swiss master in last year's final.
Raonic unleashed his usual serving blitz but it was the rangy Canadian's groundstrokes that impressed the most as he outwitted the Swiss with a masterful display of clean hitting from the baseline.
Federer, irrepressible in his semi-final win over Dominic Thiem, was off-color from the start at Pat Rafter Arena and his 25-year-old opponent feasted repeatedly on his wayward backhand.
Beaten in three tight sets last year, Raonic won at a canter in the rematch to clinch his eighth tour title and complete the perfect buildup to his bid for a maiden grand slam at the Australian Open starting later this month.
Closing out the match with a booming first serve that Federer could only parry long, Raonic roared in triumph, having beaten the 17-times grand slam champion for only the second time in 11 encounters.
He accepted the winner's trophy from 77-year-old Australian great Rod Laver, the only player to complete the calendar grand slam twice.
"Hopefully (we have) a better year this year than the last," Raonic said in his victory speech, delivering a message of peace.
“I hope in 2016 we learn to love each other a little bit more and the world becomes a safer place.”
Although wearing a furrowed brow for much of the match and showing rare negative body language, Federer was gracious in defeat but referred to a flu that had troubled him during the week. Continued...