Pictured: Federer of Switzerland poses with tournament director Edwin Weindorfer and ball kids after defeating Nick Kyrgios of Australia and returning to the top position in the ATP global ranking during day 6 of the Mercedes Cup at Tennisclub Weissenhof in Stuttgart, Germany, on June 16, 2018.
A double fault from the Canadian followed by a return victor from the Swiss set up three match points, with Federer needing only one as Raonic netted a return.
A single break of serve was enough for 36-year-old Federer to take the first set 6-4.
"The most important thing is going to be to focus on my game and if I can do my things well", Raonic said.
A win over Raonic now, would represent the ideal start to the grass-court season for Federer as he only gained points because of his round of 16 loss in the event to Tommy Haas previous year. After winning Down Under, he lost the final at Indian Wells to Juan Martin del Potro in a tightly-contested match, and then went out in the first round to 21-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis in Miami.
Canadian Milos Raonic was looking at the bigger picture after a loss to Roger Federer on Sunday morning in the Stuttgart Open final. Raonic, who like Federer withdrew from the French Open-albeit due to injury-was unbroken throughout the week until today. "The margins were very small, and there were very few chances and I'm glad in the tiebreakers I stepped up".
Raonic earlier hit 19 aces and saved the only break point he faced as he defeated defending champion Lucas Pouille 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the other semifinal. "I've played well throughout those as well". "I really hope to see him back playing at that level he has played over the last couple of years".
Roger Federer has never won a title at Stuttgart.
Federer will next play at the Halle grass tournament on Monday, where he has claimed nine titles.
After first serve percentage languished at 48% in the second set, the Australian was able to lift it to near the 80% mark for the decider, just as he'd done during the first set, to once again present Federer with a much stiffer challenge.
"It was a good week for me with a lot of positives".