Federer, Raonic land in Brisbane QFs

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
Brisbane final.

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.