Tennis: Federer beats Dimitrov to reach Brisbane final

Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a shot at the net during his men's singles semi final win over Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, on Jan 10, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a shot at the net during his men's singles semi final win over Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, on Jan 10, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BRISBANE (REUTERS) - Roger Federer moved to within one win of his 1,000 career victory when he crushed Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday to reach the final of the Brisbane International.

The Swiss maestro produced a masterclass display to brush aside his young challenger, dubbed "Baby Fed", 6-2 6-2 in just 53 minutes.

Federer will now play Milos Raonic in Sunday's final after the big-serving Canadian blasted 34 aces past Kei Nishikori to win the first semi-final 6-7(4) 7-6(4) 7-6(4).

If Federer wins his 83rd career title on Sunday he will join Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl as just the third man to chalk up 1,000 ATP match wins.

The 33-year-old holds a 7-1 win record over Raonic, one of the new young guns starting to make their mark on the game.

Dimitrov is also regarded as one of the most promising emerging talents after reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year but was unable to mount a serious challenge against Federer.

The world number two broke Dimitrov in the opening game then three more times to complete a straight-sets win at the Pat Rafter Arena.

Despite not having won a grand slam title since 2012, Federer is steadily improving his form leading into the Australian Open, starting Jan 19.

He struggled in his opening match against little-known John Millman but took just 39 minutes to win his next match with Australian qualifier James Duckworth.