Raonic Upsets Verdasco for SAP Open Title

by John on February 14, 2011

Milos Raonic won his first ATP Tour title last night, defeating top seed and defending champion Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5) in the final of the SAP Open at San Jose. The 20-year-old unseeded Canadian became the youngest winner on the ATP Tour since then 19-year-old Marin Cilic captured the New Haven title in 2008. “It’s something that came quicker than expected, but something amazing,” Raonic said. In a match consisting of two tiebreakers, one break point and no breaks of serve, the difference between the two players was miniscule. Verdasco led the first set tiebreaker 6-2 and then squandered four set points — including two on his serve — to drop the opener. “I just made one mistake with my forehand at 6-5,” Verdasco said. “All the other points he played aggressive…He played good and he put all the returns in and not much I can do in that moment.” The 6-foot-5 Canadian faced the lone break point of the match at 4-4 in the second set, but saved that with a service winner. Raonic got the only mini-break in the second set tiebreaker with Verdasco serving at 2-3. Verdasco fought off two match points on his serve with an ace and a forehand winner at 3-6, but netted Raonic’s 138-mph first delivery on the third match point. “When it gets close it sort of just comes down to who gets it that day,” Raonic said. “It comes down to a few points and I was there for it. I sort of used up my luck today, in a way. I got out of that first set and the second set I was a little bit more confident by then. It came out the way I wanted it to.” Raonic had 13 aces and 20 service winners, and won 88 percent of his first service points (49 of 56). Verdasco hit nine aces and won 84 percent of his first serve points (41 of 49). The only real difference was that Verdasco dropped four points on his serve in the two tiebreakers. Raonic jumped 25 spots to No. 59 in today’s updated ATP rankings. “He has good potential and he has one of the best serves, and also on the baseline he plays so aggressive,” Verdasco said. “The moments he needs to play solid, he plays solid and I think that he can be a Top 20 player very soon.”

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Chris Ross February 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Great post. Man, Raonic really looks like he might becoming something special right now. He’s such a different player than what we have seen in this era as so much is rally oriented (which I think is really fun). As a Canadian I never thought that we would have someone legitimate to cheer for but I guess I was wrong. He’s shot his way up the tennis rankings and with his gigantic serve you just don’t know how far he could go. Good for him for beating Verdasco and getting that first one outta the way, hopefully there’s more to come. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I’d love to hear what you have to say. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/milos-raonic-the-next-great-one/

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