Federer notches 1,000th match win
Roger Federer notched his 1,000th career victory and collected his 83rd title with a seesawing 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-4 win over Milos Raonic in the Brisbane International final on Sunday. The 17-time major winner broke Raonic’s serve in the third game and again in the opening game of the second set but just when Federer appeared set for a comfortable victory, the 24-year-old Canadian broke back in the fourth game to swing the momentum.
The second set then stayed on serve until the tiebreaker, where Raonic dropped the first two points before winning the last seven to level the match. 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. Raonic netted a forehand on the next point, allowing Federer to join Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071) as the only players to win 1,000 or more matches on the men’s professional tour. After a sudden end to the match, Federer raised his arms to acknowledge the “Federer 1,000” placards and red-and-white Swiss flags being waved around the stadium. Ballboys held up 1,000 in big, white numerals near the net during the presentation ceremony, when Federer accepted the trophy from Roy Emerson and a framed montage of images with the words “Congratulations Roger, 1,000 match wins” from Australian great Rod Laver. The 33-year-old Swiss star started the 2015 season with a 996-227 career win-loss record and reached the milestone with victories over Australian wildcards John Millman and James Duckworth, fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov and Raonic, whom he now leads 8-1 in head-to-head encounters.
FEDEX humbled by record feat
BRISBANE: With 17 Grand Slam titles under his belt, Roger Federer has made a habit of smashing barriers and passing milestones but even he was moved by his latest achievement. On Sunday, he chalked up another watershed, registering his 1,000 ATP career match win by beating Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4 in the final of the Brisbane International. Only Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl had achieved the feat before and Federer was clearly moved. “It feels very different to any other match I’ve ever won, because I never thought about anything, reaching 500 or 800. All those numbers didn’t mean anything to me, but for some reason 1,000 means a lot because it’s such a huge number. Just counting to 1,000 is going to take a while,” he told a news conference. The stars aligned themselves perfectly for Federer to reach the milestone. By sheer coincidence it came in a final in a country where the Swiss maestro has enjoyed some of his greatest triumphs. He received the tournament trophy from Roy Emerson, an Australian great who won 12 grand slam titles, and also a special framed photograph from Rod Laver, the only player to complete the calendar-year grand slam on two occasions. Raonic almost spoiled the party after coming back from losing the opening set and going down a service break in the second but the epic nature of the contest only added to Federer’s accomplishment. “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. It means so much more than just running away with it with the score maybe winning 6-4, 6-4, which was looking very likely at one stage,” Federer said. At 33, he has no plans of retiring but conceded that the all-time record for ATP wins, which Connors holds at 1,253, may be beyond him.