By Chris Oddo/ Saturday, October 5, 2013
Milos Raonic improved his winning streak to eight matches to reach the Tokyo final, where he will meet Juan Martin del Potro on Sunday.
Photo Source: AP
Milos Raonic continued his torrid run of play by defeating Croatian Ivan Dodig 7-6(4), 6-1 to reach the final of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo. Raonic did face a break point for the first time this week, in the third game of the second set, but he recovered from that minor nusiance to hold serve in all ten games against Dodig, making it a perfect 40 for 40 on serve with 64 aces thrown in.
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Raonic had lost his previous two tilts to Dodig, but after the Maple Leaf Missile roared back to win the final five points of the first-set tiebreaker, clinching it with an ace, he controlled things the rest of the way.
During his eight-match winning streak, the hard-serving Canadian has held serve in 89 of 91 games, while serving 145 aces. The effort has enabled Raonic to strengthen his bid to reach the prestigious year-end final in London for the first time, as he moved into 10th place in the race by reaching the final.
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His opponent in the final will be Juan Martin del Potro. Del Potro edged Nicolas Almagro 7-6(7), 7-6(1) to reach his 22nd career ATP final. Del Potro's win, coupled with Tomas Berdych's loss to Rafael Nadal in Beijing, means that the Argentine will return to the No. 5 spot in the ATP rankings on Monday for the first time since 2010.
Raonic defeated Del Potro in their only career meeting this summer in Montreal, 7-5, 6-4.