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Raonic claims first tour title in San Jose


 

Originally published on: 14/02/11 10:00

Milos Raonic continued his dream start to 2011 by defeating top seed Fernando Verdasco to claim his first ATP World Tour title at the SAP Open in San Jose.

The 20-year-old, who reached the fourth round of the Australian Open in January as a qualifier ranked No.152 in the world, continued his impressive form on just his eighth tour-level main draw appearance, beating the Spaniard 7-6(6) 7-6(5).

“It’s something that came quicker than expected, but something amazing,” said Raonic, whose triumph saw him become the youngest tour-titlist since Marin Cilic won New Haven in 2008, and the first Canadian ATP Tour titlist in 16 years.

Raonic, who moved up to No.59 in the rankings today, clinched a hard fought win over Verdasco in two close tie-break sets.

 “When it gets close it sort of just comes down to who gets it that day,” reasoned Raonic. “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.”

Though featuring in his 14th ATP Tour-level final, Verdasco admitted he had missed a chance in the first set, but praised his young opponent for keeping his composure.

“I just made one mistake with my forehand at 6-5,” admitted the Spaniard. “All the other points he played aggressive. He played good, put all the returns in, and there’s not much I can do in that moment.”
Raonic didn’t drop a set en route to the title and ended the week with 58 aces in the four matches he played en route to the title.

Reflecting on a start to the year that has seen him knock over two top 10 players and claim his first title, Raonic said:

“It’s been amazing. I can’t stop smiling. I’m happy about it and I hope I can keep it going more than six weeks into the full year schedule and see where I am at the end of the year.”

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