Raonic reverses result on Federer
BRISBANE, Australia (AP):
Milos Raonic got one back on Roger Federer to start the new season. After losing coach Ivan Ljubicic to the Federer camp leading into 2016, Raonic achieved something nobody else born in the 1990s has managed to do against the 17-time major winner - beat him twice.
The 25-year-old Canadian broke Federer's serve once in each set of a 6-4, 6-4 win yesterday in the Brisbane International decider, reversing the outcome of their meeting in last year's final at the Australian Open warm-up tournament.
Ljubicic was in Federer's corner for the final. Carlos Moya, who will join Raonic's coaching crew, doesn't arrive in Australia until next week.
He's got a good base to work off, starting with Raonic's eighth career title and only his second win in 11 matches against Federer.
It was a boost coming off a troubled end to 2015, when Raonic missed the last three weeks with a back problem, having missed the French Open earlier in the season with a foot injury, parted company with Ljubicic and finished out of the top 10.
"It does great things - it signifies within the team how concrete and good the work we're doing is," Raonic said of his win. "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 Melbourne, you know, I've got my stuff back together and I can play some good tennis again."
Raonic attacked top-seeded Federer with his booming serve and forehand, as expected, but also went to the net 13 times in the first set and won 10 of those points to put him on course for the win.
Federer, who went 6-5 in finals in 2015 - with all five losses coming to top-ranked Novak Djokovic - struggled earlier in the week with lingering flu-like symptoms, but improved with four matches in four days, including wins over Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals and Dominic Thiem in the semis.
Raonic "did well. It was a tough match - (my) legs were a little bit wobbly," Federer said. "Still, 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."