Roger Federer turned the Brisbane International final into a grand occasion Sunday in Australia, beating Milos Raonic of Canada 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4 for the 1,000th singles-match victory of his career.
The Swiss superstar is the third player with at least 1,000 ATP Tour victories, joining Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071).
“Clearly it’s a special day for me, winning a title plus getting to the magic number of 1,000,” the 33-year-old Federer said. “It feels very different to any other match I’ve ever won. All those (milestone) numbers didn’t mean anything to me, but for some reason 1,000 means a lot because it’s such a huge number. Just alone to count to 1,000 is going to take awhile.”
Federer raised his arms to acknowledge the “Federer 1,000” placards and red-and-white Swiss flags being waved around Pat Rafter Arena.
“It’s almost nicer winning this way, through a tight match, with nerves and humid conditions, against a great player in a final,” Federer said. “It means so much more than just running away with it.”
Raonic didn’t seem to mind being part of the big occasion.
“It’s great to see because you know how much he has done for tennis. He turned pro, I think it was like 10 years, before me,” Raonic said of Federer. “It’s great to see everything he has done for tennis. The fans he has brought, the media attention he has brought … he’s definitely the most popular tennis player of all time.”