Chennai Open: Raonic blasts Almagro to enter finalJanuary 7th, 2012 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Jan 7 (IANS) Milos Raonic slammed 17 aces on way to an impressive 6-4, 6-4 win in 72 minutes against World No.10 Nicolas Almagro to enter the final of the Aircel Chennai Open tournament here Saturday.
Raonic, the 20-year-old Canadian fourth seed and ranked 31, relied heavily on his serves most of which were outright winners while the second seeded Almagro from Spain played on gamely, but was unable to handle the missiles from the other side of the net.
It was not as if the 26-year-old Almagro served badly, but Raonic was better on the day. Nothing more demonstrated the Canadian’s awesome power than the four consecutive 215 kmph-plus serves that he sent down in the eighth game of the first set.
Raonic certainly played far better than he did in the previous rounds. His groundstrokes had the variety, both in terms of pace and angles, often catching Almagro short.
The Canadian, who awaits the winner of the second semi-final between Janko Tipsarevic and Go Soeda, also attacked far more than he had done earlier to keep Almagro under pressure.
On his part, the Spaniard seemed helpless in the face of his opponent’s power-packed game and though he did showcase his obvious class with some delectable winners, it was clearly not Almagro’s day, for he just did not have the ammunition to counter Raonic.
Raonic broke Almagro in the seventh game to take the first set, and in the second, games went to serve until the ninth when the Spaniard was broken. Almagro had a chance to stay in the match, but could not convert any of the three breakpoints in the 10th.
Down 15-40, Raonic blasted a 221Kmph ace followed by a forehand winner for deuce, but a long forehand put Almagro in front. Again, Raonic uncorked an ace at 217 kmph, followed by two more big serves clocking 189 kmph and 217 kmph to wrap up the match.
“There was nothing wrong with my game. He played better tennis and served better. He is obviously one of the best hard court players in the world today,” said Almagro, who could barely hide his disappointment.
Raonic admitted that his service games made all the difference as the ease with which he held serve put pressure on the opponent.
“I struggled a bit strategically, but I created opportunities on return and took care of my serve and it all came together. I am happy to get the job done,” said Raonic who grew up on hard courts and it showed against Almagro.
The results (semi-finals): 4-Milos Raonic (CAN) bt 2-Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 6-4, 6-4.
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Tags: ace, aces, aircel chennai, ammunition, angles, blasts, breakpoints, deuce, eighth game, gamely, jan 7, janko tipsarevic, kmph, milos, missiles, nicolas almagro, opponent, outright winners, showcase, spaniard