Top seed Roger Federer claimed the 1,000th victory of his career as he defeated Milos Raonic to win the Brisbane International title. Swiss Federer, 33, thumped the Canadian, 24, 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 on Pat Rafter Arena to secure his 83rd career title.
The world number two became only the third man in tennis history, after Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl, to achieve 1,000 ATP wins. "I've played a lot of tennis over the years so to get to 1,000 wins means a lot to me," said Federer. "It's a special moment, no doubt about that. I will never forget this match."
The 17-time Grand Slam champion, who lost to Lleyton Hewitt in last year's Brisbane final, is the first player since Lendl in 1992 to reach the milestone. He has won at least one tournament every year since 2001, an unrivaled run comprising 15 seasons. The Swiss had been in sublime form in Brisbane, thrashing Australian qualifier James Duckworth in 39 minutes and then hammering Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in 53 minutes to reach the final. Federer now goes to Melbourne to begin preparations for the Australian Open, which begins on 19th January and is a Grand Slam he has won 4 times.
Federer seemed determined to win the final, breaking Raonic's serve in the 3rd game before going on to take the set 6-4. He broke in the opening game of the 2nd set, but Raonic broke back for 2-2 and then controlled the tie-break, winning 7 consecutive points to seal the set and level the match. Federer was in trouble early in the 3d set but Raonic failed to take advantage and the Swiss rallied to break in the 10th game and take victory in 2 hours and 13 minutes.
He stretched his career record over the emerging Raonic to 8-1 with his latest achievement, but still has ground to make up on former greats Connors (1,253 wins) and Lendl (1,071). At the presentation he was conferred with the trophy by Roy Emerson and a unique award for 1,000 wins by fellow Australian legend Rod Laver. "To get to 1,000 wins in front of you two greats means a lot to me," Federer said. "I'll never forget this moment."