Roger Federer beats Milos Raonic to win Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart

Roger Federer celebrated his return to the top of the world rankings by beating Milos Raonic 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to win the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.

The Swiss, playing his first tournament since March after skipping the clay-court season, beat Canadian Milos Raonic for his 98th career title.

His run to the final in Germany ensured he usurped previous world No 1 Rafael Nadal at the top of the ATP rankings, and if he wins in Halle next week – a traditional Federer stronghold – he will arrive at Wimbledon in July looking for his 100th title on tour.

It was Raonic who memorably left Federer on the Centre Court floor on his way to the 2016 Wimbledon final, but the 36-year-old was in no mood to allow a repeat.

A single break of serve in the first set was enough for him to take that, though he did have to fend off two break points on his own delivery.

Neither player could muster any break points in a second set heavily dominated by the serve, meaning it had to be decided by a tie-break, which Federer won.

It secured his third title of 2018, his 18th on grass and puts him on the verge of a century of crowns.

The 20-time Grand Slam singles winner next heads to Halle for a tournament he has won eight times in total and in four of the last five years.

Victory there would put him one away from becoming just the second man to win 100 singles titles, behind Jimmy Connors on 109.

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June 18, 2018, 11:00am

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