Roger Federer claims Brisbane crown and 1000th win

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Memorable win: Roger Federer celebrated his 1000th career win and Brisbane International title after beating Milos Raonic.

Roger Federer brought up his 1,000th victory at tour level in style when he beat Canadian Milos Raonic in three tough sets to win the Brisbane International.

Federer was forced to absorb some superb shotmaking and blistering serves from the 24-year-old before winning 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4 in two hours and 13 minutes at Pat Rafter Arena.

Federer's glittering career now includes 83 singles titles, including 17 Grand Slams, since his first victory over Frenchman Guillaume Raoux in Toulouse in 1998.

He is third on the all-time list for matches won, behind Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071).

The 33-year-old was presented with his Brisbane International trophy by Roy Emerson, as well as a special award for his 1,000th win by 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."

However, Raonic was playing so well that for long periods during the second and third sets it looked like the milestone would have to wait until next week's Australian Open.

But serving at 4-5 in the third set the Canadian faltered, a double fault giving Federer championship point, before a forehand into the net ended the contest.

Raonic is one of the biggest servers in the game but in the final he was outserved by Federer, who sent down 20 aces to Raonic's 12.

Federer began strongly and pressured Raonic, taking advantage of a lapse in the Canadian's second service game to secure the only break of the first set.

The top seed broke Raonic at the start of the second set then held to go ahead 2-0, his tactic of standing well up to receive the Canadian's huge serve paying dividends.

But Raonic began to find his range with his punishing groundstrokes and put the set back on serve when he broke back two games later.

Federer jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the tiebreak. But Raonic then won the next seven points to level the match at one set apiece thanks to a succession of superb groundstrokes from the back of the court and some brilliant serving.

Raonic carried the momentum into the third set but Federer absorbed the pressure  and then began to attack.

Federer had two break points in the fourth game and Raonic two in the fifth, but neither was able to convert.

Federer had two more chances to break in Raonic's next service game but again the Canadian held on with a succession of booming serves over 220 kilometres an hour.

However, just when it looked like a second tiebreak would be needed to decide the match, Raonic stumbled and Federer was champion.

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Wawrinka to face qualifier Bedene in Chennai Open final

andrewbinner 11/01/2015
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Pumped up: Three-time Chennai Open champion Stan Wawrinka will go into the final against Bedene as favourite.

Qualifier Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia recorded another stunning upset in the Chennai Open to reach his first ATP Tour final where he will take on three-time Chennai winner Stan Wawrinka.


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Sharapova downs Ivanovic in classic final of Brisbane International

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Thrilling final: Maria Sharapova beat Ana Ivanovic to win the Brisbane International.

Maria Sharapova won the 34th title of her career on Saturday when she outlasted Ana Ivanovic in the thrilling final match of the Brisbane International.

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Sharapova won 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-3, clinching victory in two hours and 38 minutes in front of a packed crowd at the steamy Pat Rafter Arena.

It was the 13th year in a row that the Russian has won at least one WTA title.

The match, played in typically hot and humid conditions in the Queensland capital, was the perfect Australian Open preparation for the two top seeds, who met in the Melbourne final in 2008.

“I came into this final expecting a tough match,” Sharapova said.

“The matches we had last year were always very intense and high quality. That’s what you expect in a final atmosphere.

“I love coming back here, starting here,” she added.

“I played four good matches against very different types of opponents — couldn’t have asked for better preparation.”

Ana Ivanovic.

Sharapova started brilliantly and raced to a 4-1 lead before Ivanovic struck back and levelled the set.

She then took control of the tiebreak to strike first blood in the final.

Sharapova broke early in the second set and kept the advantage to level the match at one set apiece.

Ivanovic took a medical time out at the end of the set to have an abdominal strain re-taped and when she returned, Sharapova promptly broke and went ahead 3-1.

Ivanovic fought back once more to get the set back on serve, but some fierce groundstrokes from the world number two saw Sharapova break again, and this time there was no coming back for Ivanovic.

“I really thought it was a high quality match from the first moment on,” Ivanovic said.

“There were not many unforced errors, I would say.

“The last two sets were a lot closer than maybe the score indicates. There were really a few points that decided it here and there.

“Now it’s about recovery and getting the best possible preparation for Melbourne,” she added.

“This was great week for me, a great way to start the season. I really hope I can keep the level and raise it next week in Melbourne.”

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