Roger Federer joined an elite club by claiming his 1,000th career win with a hard-fought victory over Milos Raonic in the final of the Brisbane International.

Only Jimmy Connors (1,253) and Ivan Lendl (1,071) had previously achieved the feat in the Open era, but Federer reached the landmark after seeing off a resilient Raonic 6-4 6-7 (2/7) 6-4.

The milestone, as well as his overall triumph this week, gives Federer plenty of momentum heading into the Australian Open, which gets under way in Melbourne on Monday week.

But the Swiss was forced to earn his success on Sunday, with Raonic hitting back from a break down in the second set to force a decider before eventually being pipped in a titanic battle that lasted two hours and 13 minutes.

Federer showed flashes of his brilliant best in the opening set, with 15 winners and just three unforced errors, as he set out to claim his eighth win in nine matches over his Canadian opponent.

The top seed broke in the third game and was never threatened on serve to seize control of the final.

It got no better for Raonic as he double faulted to drop serve at the beginning of the second set, although the third seed discovered his touch and reeled off eight points in a row.

The set went with serve to force a tie-break, where again Raonic went a run, losing the first two points before storming back to win the next seven and take Federer the distance.

Neither player gave an inch in the decider, with both staving off break points to hold their serve.

It appeared another tie-break would be needed to settle the encounter but Federer, at 5-4 ahead, showed all his years of his experience by forcing a break point opportunity and then wrapping up victory for his 83rd career title.

"It's a special moment, no doubt about it," Federer told after the victory.

"I've played a lot of tennis over the years, so to get to 1000 wins tonight really means a lot to me. I'll never forget this match."

Beaten Raonic hailed the Swiss' achievement, and said: "We all know today was a significant milestone for Roger. When we were warming up, I heard all those titles; I honestly thought he was playing for 2000 match wins today! I think he needs to step it up!"