BRISBANE, January 10, 2016
It was a sweet revenge for Milos Raonic on Sunday to capture his eighth ATP World Tour title at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp. Twelve months ago it was Roger Federer who prevailed when the pair met in Queensland’s final, earning his 1000th match win.
Raonic, who arrived in Australia finishing runner-up at the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, made a strong statement at the start of the new seasons with just his second vicotry in 11 meetings with Federer, winning the final 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 27 minutes.
“It feels great. It feels great considering how the past nine months have been. It adds a sort of cherry on top to all that. [The win] does great things. For myself it signifies within the team how concrete and good the work we’re doing is,” Raonic said.
“At the same time, with the difficulties I’ve had last year, it’s maybe a good way for me to show the other guys I will face going in to Melbourne that I’ve got my stuff back together and I can play some good tennis again,” the world number 14 from Canada continued.
“Against him it’s always about who can dictate. I felt that other than maybe one service game where I double faulted three times, I was staying quite a bit ahead on my serve and always close on his, except for one that I lost at love. I felt like most of the other ones I was getting to 30. I was giving myself opportunities and then was able to capitalise twice.”
Federer fought through a bout of flu at the start of the tournament to reach his 136th tour-level final (88-48 record). It is the second time he has finished runner-up, also missing out against Lleyton Hewitt in 2014.
“I definitely didn’t play my best, because when you play a big sever first you focus on your own game, and then see what you can do on his game. Both sides were not really happening. I was struggling on the serve. Quite inconsistent. He’s a good aggressive player. It was just not happening,” told Federer and added:
“Considering the week I’ve had, I’m actually quite happy. That’s why I’m not down or anything or disappointed. If I would’ve known I would’ve made the finals five days ago I would’ve been unbelievably happy.”
Later the afternoon, second seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers capped a dream debut week together. The pair beat Australian wild cards James Duckworth and Chris Guccione, winning 7-6, 6-1 in 62 minutes. The 27-year-old Peers lifted the trophy at this ATP 250 event for a second year in a row, having triumphed in 2015 with Jamie Murray.
“It’s a great step in the right direction for Henri and I to start off the way we did. We put in four really solid matches and did really well. It’s really promising for us as a team and we’re looking forward to 2016,” told Peers and his partner added:
“It was a great start for us in our first week together. There’s always a little question mark how it’s going to start out when we haven’t played any matches before. But right off the bat we felt pretty comfortable on the court and we’re happy with the way we played throughout the week.”