Tag: Brisbane

ATP Brisbane: Federer battles to claim 1,000th career victory

Roger Federer claimed his 1,000th career victory and collected his 83rd title with a 6-4 6-7(2) 6-4 win over Milos Raonic in the ATP Brisbane Final.

The 17-time major winner broke Raonic’s serve in the third game and again in the opening game of the second set but just when Federer appeared set for a comfortable victory, the 24-year-old Canadian broke back in the fourth game to swing the momentum.

The second set then stayed on serve until the tie-break, where Raonic dropped the first two points before winning the last seven to level the match.

After overcoming his early nerves, third-seeded Raonic was playing a cool, composed game until he served his first double-fault of the third set, giving Federer championship point. Raonic netted a forehand on the next point, allowing Federer to join Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071) as the only players to win 1,000 or more matches on the men’s professional tour.

After a sudden end to the match, Federer raised his arms to acknowledge the ‘Federer 1,000’ placards and red-and-white Swiss flags being waved around the stadium.

Ballboys held up 1,000 in big, white numerals near the net during the presentation ceremony, when Federer accepted the trophy from Roy Emerson and a framed montage of images with the words ‘Congratulations Roger, 1,000 match wins’ from Australian great Rod Laver.

“It’s a special moment, I’m glad I got it,” Federer said. “To get to 1,000 match wins in front of you guys … it really means a lot to me. I’ll never forget this match.

” The 33-year-old started the 2015 season with a 996-227 career win-loss record and reached the milestone with victories over Australian wildcards John Millman and James Duckworth, fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov and Raonic, whom he now leads 8-1 in head-to-head encounters.

The Aussie fans love an underdog, and backed Raonic while he was down early in the match, with Federer firing eight aces and not facing a break point in the first set. But as the final progressed and an upset loomed, the Pat Rafter Arena crowd got right behind Federer and cheered his every winner.

Federer responded to his slide in the tie-break by serving an ace to open the third set, but he needed all his experience to save three break point chances in the opening game that lasted more than 11 minutes.

Raonic then had to save two breaks points in the fourth and sixth games – after missing two on Federer’s serve in the fifth. The server only conceded one point in the next three games until Raonic was serving to stay in the match. Raonic led 30-15 until Federer produced a pin-point topspin lob that forced an error, and then the double-fault – only his fourth of the match. He hit 49 winners, six more than Federer, but had also had more unforced errors and, surprisingly, fewer aces.

“We all know today was a significant milestone for Roger,” Raonic told the crowd, reflecting on how when he listened to all of Federer’s credits in the introductions before the match he could have sworn he was aiming for his 2,000th win. “I think you need to step it up.”

Read more at ESPN

ATP Brisbane: Roger Federer races to 39-minute victory

Top seed Roger Federer beat Australian wildcard James Duckworth 6-0 6-1 in 39 minutes to reach the Brisbane International semi-finals.

The 33-year-old’s victory came just 24 hours after he struggled to see off world number 153 John Millman.

Federer, last year’s runner-up, will face fourth seed Bulgarian Dimitrov, who beat Martin Klizan 6-3 6-4.

“I’m happy I had a match like this after yesterday,” said Switzerland’s 17-time Grand Slam winner.

“I felt tired. This morning, I had muscle pain and all that stuff. So I’m very happy I got it done quickly today.”

Japan’s Kei Nishikori meets Milos Raonic in the other semi-final as players warm up for the Australian Open, which starts on 19 January.

Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up, beat Bernard Tomic 6-0 6-4, while Raonic’s booming serve helped secure a 7-6 3-6 7-6 victory over Australian Sam Groth.

Dimitrov, a beaten Wimbledon semi-finalist alongside Raonic, set up the Federer encounter with a comfortable 6-3 6-4 success over Slovakian Martin Klizan.

Federer will be seeking his fifth Australian Open triumph in the 2015 tournament.

Read more at BBC Sport

Tennis: Sharapova storms into semi-finals of WTA Brisbane

Maria Sharapova eased into the semi-finals of WTA Brisbane with a hugely-convincing win over Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.

The Russian took an hour and eight minutes to beat the seventh seed 6-1 6-3, breaking serve five times as she did so, and earning a spot in the last four against up-and-coming Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, who knocked out Angelique Kerber.

Top seed Sharapova was relieved to have cruised past an opponent who has given her problems in the past.

“We went back and forth with our victories in 2014 so I’m always a little bit aware of girls that I lose to,” Sharapova said.

“I certainly know that she’s capable of playing really well, though. She plays defence great and makes you hit a lot of balls.

“Especially on a slower court like here, you just don’t want to give her that much time to play her game. I thought I did a good job of that today.
“Maybe I made a little too many unforced errors in the beginning, but I finished strong.”

Svitolina, who had come from 6-3 3-0 down to stun Kerber in a 4-6 7-5 6-3 victory, sounded thrilled to be facing Sharapova.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Svitolina said. “It’s always great to compete against these players. You see what you need to improve. I’ll try and fight as I did today, and hopefully I can win tomorrow.”

Sharapova was also keenly anticipating the match.

“She’s a young girl that’s already in the Top 30 with a tremendous amount of potential, and someone you’ll be seeing in the top very soon,” Sharapova said.
“She definitely has a good game. She’s an all-around player. It’ll be a tough match-up for me, but one that I’m looking forward to, actually.”

WTA BRISBANE RESULTS

1-Maria Sharapova (Russia) beat 7-Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) 6-1 6-3

Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) beat 3-Angelique Kerber (Germany) 4-6 7-5 6-3

Varvara Lepchenko (U.S.) beat Alla Kudryavtseva (Russia) 7-5 7-5

Read more at Yahoo Sport

Cricket: Australia v India: Mitchell Johnson spell secures second Test victory

Mitchell Johnson delivered an inspired spell to help Australia win the second Test and take a 2-0 series lead, despite a late India fightback.

Johnson took four wickets for 61 runs, including 3-10 in 11 balls, as India collapsed to 224 all out after resuming on 71-1 on day four in Brisbane.

Australia lost three quick wickets but chased down 128 for the win and now cannot lose the four-Test series.

Johnson said “It’s my job to be aggressive and take wickets.”

His performance revived memories of his match-winning display at the Gabba just over a year ago, when his 5-42 and 4-61 helped Australia win the first Ashes Test by 381 runs.

The only Indian batsman to resist during their collapse of 9-148 was Shikhar Dhawan, who hit a stubborn 81 after playing with a wrist injury he sustained in the practice nets before the start of play.

Dhawan was initially unable to resume his innings at the start of play and was replaced by Virat Kohli, who also suffered an injured wrist batting in the nets.

The injuries prompted India’s team management to claim they had asking for better practice pitches.

“Instead of that, they have asked us to practice on worn out wickets, which have uneven bounce. Because of that two of our batsmen got injured,” said the statement.

Chasing a modest target, Australia’s reply began badly with seamer Ishant Sharma claiming two wickets before tea, but Chris Rogers gave the innings some impetus with 55 off 57 balls including 10 boundaries.

Sharma also dismissed Rogers, leaving Australia on 85 for three, and as they closed in on victory Shaun Marsh, stand-in captain Steve Smith and Brad Haddin fell in quick succession before Mitchell Marsh hit the winning runs.

Smith was named man of the match following his first innings century. He also scored an unbeaten 162 and 52 not out to help Australia win the first Test in Adelaide.

Read more at BBC Sport