Roger Federer's Australian Open preparations have taken a knock. The Swiss former one lost in the final of the Brisbane International to unheralded Milos Raonic.
In a rematch of last year's final, Raonic took advantage of some uncharacteristic Federer service wobbles, winning in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
Federer only managed to put 55 percent of his serves in play, and with the first set level at 4-4, his Canadian opponent was able to break. Raonic fired a string of bullets in the next game to go one set up.
In the second set, Federer was able to break Raonic to level things at 2-2. But he couldn't build up any momentum, and the world number 14 succeeded in coming from 30-love down to break Federer in the seventh game. He then served out the set to take the match and the Brisbane International title.
"I was staying quite a bit ahead on my serve and always close on his," Raonic told reporters afterward. "So I was giving myself opportunities and then was able to capitalize twice."
Federer was forced to combat illness throughout the tournament.
"With the week that I've had, I'm pretty happy," Federer said. "I still have a cough, and I was just one step too slow."
The first major of the tennis season, the Australian Open, begins on January 18.