For the second consecutive season, 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will have an opportunity to lift the Brisbane International title. Last year, he suffered a three-set loss to Lleyton Hewitt in the final and will now come up against the big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic. This marks the ninth time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Federer leading the head to head series 7-1.
For the third consecutive time, Roger Federer was able to dispatch his younger namesake Grigor ‘Baby Fed’ Dimitrov without dropping a set. He defeated the world No. 11 6-2, 6-2 in less than an hour of court time. Federer remained dominant on serve throughout the match, as he served 82% of his first service points and saved all four of the break points he faced during the encounter. He is now one win away from the remarkable 1,000 win mark in his career.
“I was able to play straightforward tennis, like yesterday, just really aggressive,” said Federer. “Against a really good player, it’s a great result. Happy I didn’t waste much energy like this. I’m fresh for the finals. Probably got a slight advantage over Milos in that regard.”
He certainly does. Raonic, unlike Federer, was put through a grueling three-set encounter against Kei Nishikori and barley edged the Japanese No. 1 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 7-6(4). The entire match took 2 hours and 33 minutes, where Raonic struck 34 aces and won 86% of his first service points to close out the contest. He will now face Federer in his first ATP final of the season.
While Federer leads the overall head-to-head series 7-1, Raonic managed his first ever win over the Swiss star last November at the Paris Masters. However, he was unable to remain competitive against Federer in their most recent encounter at the ATP World Tour Finals. Therefore, given Federer’s energy conservation over the past few days, he will likely have the advantage against the Canadian on Sunday.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Three Sets