Defending champion Roger Federer will meet big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic in the final of the Brisbane International after the Swiss top seed dismantled rising Austrian talent Dominic Thiem 6-1 6-4 on Saturday.
Federer left his opponent and the centre court crowd stunned as he charged to a 5-0 lead at the Pat Rafter Arena before encountering stiffer resistance from his 22-year-old opponent as the match progressed at the Australian Open warm-up.
The youngest player in the top 20, Thiem shrugged off the first set horror show to unleash some exquisite backhand winners in the second that had the Swiss master nodding approval.
- Varun Gandhi Under Attack Over Defence Deals: Here’s How
- This Diwali, Let Blind Students Brighten Up your Homes With Candles & Diyas
- CBI Files Supplementary Chargesheet In Sheena Bora Murder Case
- Soha Ali Khan And Vir Das Starrer 31st October Audience Reaction
- Sahara Chief Subrata Roy’s Parole Extended Till November 28
- Simple Tips To Secure Your Debit Card From Fraudsters
- New Zealand & India Team Being Welcomed In Chandigarh
- Mumbai Call Centre Scam: All You Need To Know
- Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Appeals To Police: Here’s What She Said
- Shocker From Ahmedabad: Find Out What Happened
- Bigg Boss 10 Day 3 Review: Celebs Fail To Do Well in First Task
- Airtel Offers 10GB Data At Rs 259 For New 4G Smartphone Users
- Aamir Khan Starrer Dangal’s Trailer Launched: First Impressions
- TMC Supporters Attack BJP Leader Babul Supriyo
- Sri Lankan Navy Apprehends 20 Indian Fishermen
Federer’s serve was bullet-proof during the clutch moments, however, and the world number three closed out the contest with a booming ace on his second match point.
Federer, who will be contesting his third consecutive Brisbane final and is one victory away from an 89th ATP title, hailed his “best match” of the tournament.
“I really thought I hit the ball very well,” the evergreen 34-year-old, lathered in sweat from the muggy Brisbane heat, said in a courtside interview.
“I’m very excited to be back in the final again… It’s a great start to the season and I’m very happy.”
Raonic earlier won a battle of big servers to down local contender Bernard Tomic 7-6(5) 7-6(5) in the first semi.
Both players held their serve throughout the contest but it was the Canadian who took control in the tiebreaks, jumping out to early leads on each occasion.
After Tomic won four straight points to make it 5-5 in the second set tiebreak, Raonic whipped a forehand winner down the line to bring up match point.
He closed out the contest in style, lunging for a cross-court backhand volley to end Tomic’s solid run at the tournament, which included an upset win over world number eight Kei Nishikori.
“It was a great match today, a difficult one against Bernie. He’s been playing so well, I know he’s going to do great things this year,” Raonic said. (Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford/John O’Brien)