Brisbane: Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic said he was confident of Grand Slam success this year after stunning Roger Federer to win the Brisbane International yesterday.
Canada's Milos Raonic celebrates his victory over Switzerland's Roger Federer in the Brisbane International final yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Raonic (25) broke the 17-time Grand Slam champion once in each set to take the final 6-4, 6-4, only his second win over Federer in 11 meetings. Federer had been improving every round after starting the tournament with a slight illness but was no match for Raonic, who served powerfully and came to the net at every opportunity.
The win gave Raonic his eighth title on the ATP tour and reversed the result of last year's final, won by 34-year-old Federer in three tight sets. The Canadian said later the win showed that he could challenge for a Grand Slam title after enduring a tough year in 2015 due to injury.
"(There are) sort of two steps," he said, "being able to step up and play great for two weeks, which I believe I can definitely do. Then there is the aspect of if you want to compete to be the best player in the world, that's about playing good for about 30 weeks. That's maybe another step away, but I definitely feel I have it within myself to step up and play great tennis for two weeks."
Raonic took full advantage of an out-of-sorts Federer and always looked the more likely to win. Federer was off his game throughout, serving at only 55 per cent and struggling to make any impression on Raonic.
Federer conceded he was feeling off the pace in the final. "You know, like one step too slow. I definitely felt tired in my legs throughout the week, so then you feel that in defence," he said. "When you feel it in the most important moments, every time I had a chance to create some better plays, you know, it just wouldn't be happening."