Kicking off the 2016 season from Brisbane, Roger Federer defeated Grigor Dimitrov in three tight sets and Dominic Thiem in the semis to set the title clash against Milos Raonic. Struggling a bit physically, Roger couldn't match the Canadian's level, suffering a 6-4, 6-4 loss after an hour and 27 minutes to settle with the runner-up prize.
Milos won seven points more than Roger, fending off the only break chance he offered to the Swiss and delivering one break in each set to cross the finish line and lift the trophy. Speaking after the match, Federer said that he had a positive week despite not winning the title, dealing with the cough that prevented him from playing his best tennis.
Roger Federer lost the 2016 Brisbane final to Milos Raonic in straight sets.
"I definitely didn't play my best today. When you play against a big server, you have to take care of your games and see what you can do on the return; that wasn't the case for me today.
My serve was inconsistent, and I struggled a lot. My defense game from the baseline didn't work well either, especially in the pivotal moments. Milos is an aggressive player, and he took advantage of that. His serve is huge, and I didn't have too many opportunities.
I'm not disappointed, and I would have been thrilled if I know I would reach the final five days ago. I still have the cough, and my throat is a bit weird; I have to make sure to overcome that as soon as possible. Health is my top priority, and I should be fine in three or four days.
I felt tired throughout the week, and my backhand wasn't there. Things were not going on naturally, and I had to push myself and feel a lot of pressure. A result like one from the Doha final is always surprising when you have two top-ranked players on the court, as you rarely see blowouts.
Still, Novak has been on a roll for a while now. Doha is usually quite slow, and we can see the results like that if someone dominates from the baseline; we saw that at the World Tour Finals as well. Novak has to be the Australian Open favorite," Roger Federer said.