Federer marks No. 1 ranking with 98th title in Stuttgart

Milos Raonic

Federer's 78-minute win, sealing his first Stuttgart triumph, was the ideal tonic for the Swiss in the build-up to defending his Wimbledon crown, having extended his unbeaten 12-month sequence in grasscourt matches to 16.

Regardless of the result on Sunday, Federer will reclaim the No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal next week.

"It would mean a lot to me to win Stuttgart, no doubt about it", Federer said.

Federer, 36, beat Canadian Raonic 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in the final.

Federer, who beat Raonic en route to winning Wimbledon a year ago, broke his opponent's powerful serve just once in the third game - but that was a major feat in itself as the Canadian had entered the final having won all 41 of his service games.

The Swiss tennis player was beaten in a tiebreak in the first set, 6-7 (2) but came back fighting to win the second and third sets, 6-2 and 7-6 (5) in just an hour and 51 minutes.

Federer will return to No.1 in the rankings if he beats Australian Kyrgios in the second semifinal later on Saturday.

"I wanted to have a few matches on my return and I played four matches and won them all which is very good".


"Maybe I was a little bit better on the bigger points".

The Swiss got his hands on the Mercedes Cup with a straight sets win over the Canadian - who hadn't been broken throughout the week before meeting the top seed.

The seventh-seeded Canadian had 19 aces and saved the only break point he faced.

"Reaching the final is an important step for me", he said.

Raonic, who has won eight career ATP titles, reached a career-high No. 3 in the world rankings in November 2016.

It will be Raonic's first final since the 2017 Istanbul Open.

Federer also won their quarterfinal a year ago at Wimbledon while Raonic took their 2016 semifinal meeting at the All-England Club.

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