STUTTGART, Germany – Roger Federer claimed his 98th ATP title on Sunday and displayed his unrivalled superiority on grass with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) victory over Milos Raonic in the Stuttgart Cup final.
The top-seeded Swiss beat his Canadian opponent for the 11th time in 14 meetings while winning a first Stuttgart title.
Federer, who will be chasing a ninth Wimbledon triumph next month, finally came good on the German grass on his third attempt after losing a semi-final in 2016 to Dominic Thiem and falling in the first round here a year ago to good friend Tommy Haas.
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“I’m just very happy how I played this week,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion said.
“I never felt bad on the court, to be honest… that’s a very encouraging feeling… In the last couple of days, I’ve not dropped a serve, I was there in the most important moments, breaking Milos [in the first set] was a good effort. It’s been a great week for me.”
The 36-year-old will regain the world number one ranking on Monday and is playing next week as top seed in Halle as he continues his comeback after skipping the clay-court season.
“It’s a great comeback for me, I’m so happy to win this tournament on my third attempt. We’ll see if being number one again will probably give me a boost.”
Federer secured a return to the top ATP ranking for a sixth time with his semi-final victory on Saturday over Australian Nick Kyrgios. He takes the honour back from Rafael Nadal for the second time this season and continues the duel on court between the two modern icons.
Federer kept tight control on the match as he claimed his third title of the season after the Australian Open and Rotterdam and now owns 18 grass trophies including eight from Wimbledon.