Brisbane, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) – A pair of top-three seeds — Roger
Federer and Milos Raonic — recorded season-opening wins Thursday at the
Brisbane International tennis event.
The top-seeded Federer rallied from a set and a break down to come back to top
game Aussie wild card John Millman 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in 2 hours, 2 minutes, while
the third-seeded Raonic rolled past Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-4 on
the hardcourts at Queensland Tennis Centre.
“I thought I got quite lucky,” Federer said on-court. “He [Millman] was
playing great tennis until maybe the last couple of games. I had to fight very
hard. Credit to him for pushing me to the edge.
“I didn’t play badly, but maybe felt a bit tired at times. The first match of
the season you never know quite what to expect. I am sweating like crazy. I am
happy we had a good match and I got through in the end.”
Federer lost to Aussie favorite Lleyton Hewitt in last year’s all-former-No. 1
His quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be another Aussie wild card, James
Duckworth, while Raonic will face Aussie Sam Groth.
Meanwhile, Duckworth overcame Finnish veteran and 2008 Brisbane runner-up
Jarkko Nieminen 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 and Groth outlasted Polish qualifier
Lukasz Kubot 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-3).
Friday’s other quarters will pit second-seeded U.S. Open runner-up Kei
Nishikori against Aussie Bernard Tomic and fourth-seeded 2013 Brisbane runner-
up Grigor Dimitrov versus Slovak Martin Klizan.
Brisbane serves as a tune-up for the Australian Open, which will begin January
19 in Melbourne.