On the concluding day at Brisbane on January 11, 2015, Roger Federer registered his 1000th win and 83rd career title by defeating Milos Raonic in the final. Named after the 12-time Grand Slam winner Roy Emerson, the Brisbane International Trophy was presented to Federer by the legendary Emerson himself. Women’s singles crown was claimed by Maria Sharapova, who held off a stiff three-set challenge from second seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia. This year’s tournament at Brisbane’s Queensland Tennis Center was attended by nearly 100,000 fans, all of whom flocked to watch the world’s famous and topmost tennis stars in action over the eight-day extravaganza. At this point in time, two more ATP events are currently being played; the Apia International at Sydney and the Heinken Open in Auckland. Then everyone will move to Melbourne for this year’s first stellar event, Australian Open, beginning January 19, 2015.
Last year, Roger Federer suffered a shock defeat against Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt in the Brisbane Open final. After spending a fateful 2013 season, Federer’s unexpected loss was reported by a section of the media as a continuance of his slide. But the big Swiss belied such doomsday scenarios later in 2014 with tenacious display in many events. He didn’t win a Grand Slam but by the time the year ended, he was back as the world no.2 in Emirates ATP rankings. In Brisbane, he showed his class during the passage to the final. Milos Raonic was a tough opponent for Federer in the final but the Swiss continued with superb exhibition of power tennis by coming through in three sets against the Canadian rising star. It augurs well for Federer as he goes to Melbourne Park this Monday. Federer has won the Australian open four times and since 2004, it has never happened that the great Swiss could not make it to semifinals. Playing a masterly game against the tall Canadian, Federer broke him in the third game of the first set and won the first set in a shade over 30 minutes. In the opening game of the second set, Federer broke once again and it looked like he would close the match soon but suddenly Raonic found his bearings and squared the breaks in the fourth game to bring the set on an even keel. The big-hitting Canadian then forced the tie-break and dominated Federer by taking the tie-break 7-2. But Federer was not finished. He broke Raonic in the 10th game of the third set and took the match 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 in 2¼ hours. It was Federer’s 1000th career win and 83rd title. In ATP Tour history, only Jimmy Connors (1253) and Ivan Lendl (1071) have more victories than Federer.
Like Federer, Maria Sharapova also justified her top ranking at Brisbane and won the final against Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic after losing the first set. Ana played a strong game in the first set and clinched it on tie-break. But the Russian came back in the next two sets to emerge the winner. In fact, Sharapova started well by taking a 3-1 lead in the first set but Ana broke back in the 7th game, when Sharapova’s service went haywire. The Russian committed seven double faults, 27 unforced errors and her first serve percentage was just 38 as she allowed the Serb to take the first set in about an hour. However, the 5-time Grand Slam Winner took hold of her game and began the second set with another 3-1 lead and this time she won the set. Ana had an injury issue and 10-minute break was allowed to her but it seemed she was not able to maintain her top form later in the match. The third set also began with a 3-1 lead for Sharapova and keeping herself under control, the Russian, despite an exchange of breaks, won the set and match 6-7, 6-3, 6-3. The Brisbane victory was Sharapova’s 34th career title and she doesn’t seem finished with tennis yet.
In other final match at Brisbane on Saturday, Jamie Marray of Great Britain playing with Australia’s John Peers won the men’s doubles by beating Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov and Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6. Women’s doubles title was won by Swiss veteran Martina Hingis, who played with Germany’s Sabine Lisicki. The Swiss-German pair defeated Caroline Garcia of France and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia 6-2, 7-5.
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