Federer beats Raonic for Stuttgart title, his 18th on grass

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 18, 2018 07:50 AM
Federer beats Raonic for Stuttgart title, his 18th on grass
FILE - Roger Federer returns a shot to Filip Krajinovic during the third round of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif., Monday, March 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Crystal Chatham)

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — Roger Federer defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (3) to mark his return from three months off with the Stuttgart Open title on Sunday.

The Swiss great, who is assured of reclaiming the No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal on Monday, broke at 1-1 in the opening set and held his nerve in the second, where Raonic double-faulted.

Federer skipped the entire clay-court season for the second year in a row, but he wrapped up his 18th grass-court title in 1 hour and 18 minutes - his 98th title overall and third of the season after victories at the Australian Open and World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

"It's a wonderful feeling. I fought hard. When you finally manage it, the joy is even greater," said Federer, who extended his grass-court winning streak to 16 matches including his titles at Halle and Wimbledon last year.

The 36-year-old will need to defend his title at Halle to maintain his No. 1 spot ahead of Wimbledon.

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