Canadian big-hitter Milos Raonic won the Brisbane International title after beating an off-colour Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 in Sunday’s final.
The 25-year-old Canadian claimed a break of serve in each set of the final to record his second victory over the world number three, having lost on nine of their previous encounters.
Federer had started this week’s Australian Open tune-up battling with a slight illness, but was improving with every match he played.
However, the Swiss simpy had no answer for the power play of Raonic on the day: he served powerfully and accuretly and came to the net at every opportunity.
Sunday’s result was a reverse of last year’s final, when Federer won in three relatively even sets, as Raonic won the eighth title on the ATP Tour of his career.
Federer, meanwhile, was off his game for large parts of the match. He served at only 55 percent and struggled to make much of an impression on Raonic’s serve.
The top seed came through a difficult fifth game after saving two break points, but wasn’t able to repeat the feat in the ninth game.
After saving one break point, Federer planted a forehand in the net on the second to hand Raonic the advantage. The Canadian served out the next game to take the first set after 41 minutes on court.
Raonic took a medic time-out early in the second set, and upon the resumption he served four double faults in quick succession to hand Federer his only break point of the match.
The defending champion was unable to take advantage, though, and in the seventh game of the second set gave the Canadian another break of serve when he netted a backhand on break point having been 30-love up moments earlier.
The rest of the match proved to be a bit of a procession, with Federer eventually succumbing when a backhand sailed over the baseline.