Needing just one hour exactly, Roger Federer swept past Dominic Thiem Saturday afternoon in Brisbane, setting up a rematch of last year’s final with Milos Raonic. It was the first ever meeting between the two, and the 22-year-old Austrian has been on the upside recently, breaking into the top 20 in the world and making a semifinal to start the year.
Federer made a quick start against Thiem, breaking immediately and taking a 5-0 lead before easing to securing the first set 6-1. The young Austrian avoided a rout when he broke Federer to level the second set at 1-all, but the 34-year-old Swiss broke in the seventh game, carrying on for a 6-1 6-4 victory. Watch match highlights, post-match interview, and press conference video below.
Afterward, the Swiss reflected on his performance in his press conference. “I think it was my best match of the tournament,” said Federer, who hit 12 winners to just 10 unforced errors in the hour-long match. “I thought I hit the ball pretty well, but that’s usually how it goes. You always play better toward the end. Nobody cares how you played at the beginning, as long as you got there. I’m very excited to be back in the final. It’s going to be special playing Milos again tomorrow.”
“Big serving guys are always just tricky,” said the 2015 Brisbane champion. “I don’t know if it’s that I don’t like to play them — I always embrace the challenge of playing big servers. I have a really good record against them. I usually do a good job of getting the ball back and then finding a way. Sometimes it’s worked and sometimes it hasn’t. But I have no problems playing against him. Clearly, I respect his game. I think he’s made a lot of progress in the past few years.”
The 2016 Brisbane International Final is Sunday, 7pm in Brisbane (4am EST/1am PST).