It took one hour and twenty-seven minutes for Milos Raonic to dethrone Roger Federer from his defending champion position at the Brisbane Open in a reversal of last year's final. This was only the second time in his career that Raonic was able to beat the Swiss Maestro, but he made it on a day when it counted.
Raonic Edges First Set
Despite both players not managing to give their best, it was Raonic who was pushing Federer with some excellent shot-making. The Canadian first got two break point opportunities in the fifth game and a third in the ninth game, but Federer was able to defend all three to keep a foothold in the set. However, in the same game Raonic was finally able to convert his fourth break point to go up 5-4 and consequently take the first set 6-4.
Although Raonic's serve betrayed him throughout the match—he only served 57 percent first serves in, and surprisingly only five aces—his net play was effective. He came up to the net a totaly of 25 times and won 20 of said points.
Raonic Fights To Win Match
In the third game of the second set, Raonic was forced to take a medical timeout which disturbed his rhythm dramatically. He served three double faults in one game and gave Federer a break point opportunity, but saved the point emphatically and held to stay in control at 2-2.
Raonic needed only one more break point opportunity in the seventh game to convert and take a lead for a second time in the match. He served out the set and match 6-4.
Overall, Raonic was the better player as he managed to secure twenty winners and only let up one break point opportunity. Despite flaws with his serve, the Canadian was able to keep control during tough situations to beat a difficult opponent.
After an abysmal and injury ridden 2015 season, Milos Raonic can be extremely pleased with starting out this season on the right note. Ironically, after parting ways with coach Ivan Ljubicic, who was seated in Federer's camp today he seems to be taking a slightly different approach. He also feels confident to start his Australian Open campaign.