By Erik Gudris | Sunday, August 3, 2014
In a first time all-Canadian ATP final, Milos Raonic beat Vasek Pospisil to win the Citi Open and his biggest career title.
Photo Credit: AP
Milos Raonic will head to his hometown of Toronto next week having won his biggest career title at the Citi Open in Washington D.C.
Sunday's final between Raonic and Vasek Pospisil was the first all-Canadian ATP final in the Open Era. Yet despite the excitement and buildup to the historic match, ultimately it ended up being one-way traffic for the Toronto resident.
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While Pospisil said he would take his chances against Raonic's big serve, Canada's No. 2 had trouble holding his own serve right from the opening game. A backhand error from Pospisil gave Raonic the early 1-0 lead. Raonic fought off a break point in the next game allowing him to secure his lead.
Pospisil, looking flat and weary from his long semifinal Friday against Richard Gasquet, couldn't generate any momentum. Raonic broke Pospisil's serve two more times and, with a potent return winner, secured the set 6-1 in just 29 minutes.
With the local crowd urging Pospisil on after he returned from a bathroom break, they got their wish for a more competitive second set. Raonic resumed mostly cruising in his service games. But Pospisil finally showed more energy after striking a forehand winner followed by an ace for 2-all. Pospisil started getting better looks at the powerful Raonic serve. Still, Pospisil never managed to create a break point opportunity.
Serving to stay in the match at 5-4, Pospisil suffered a dip at the wrong time. A foot fault on the opening point led to Pospisil dumping a slice backhand into the net. Raonic then earned his first match point after Pospisil launched yet another wayward forehand for 30-40. Raonic saved his best shot of the day for last as he struck a roundhouse backhand passing shot winner to seal the 6-1, 6-4 victory.
Raonic won 93% of his first serve points. Pospisil, however, suffered due to a low second serve winning point percentage of 33%.
D.C. is now the first title of the season for Raonic and the biggest of his career. He is now projected to rise to a career No. 6 in the world.
Pospisil admitted feeling "heavy legs" after his long semifinal versus Gasquet. While the crowd support boosted his energy, Pospisil was surprised by Raonic returning as well as he did right from the start.
"I wasn't expecting him to return as well, you know, as quickly as he did because that's usually a part of his game that could have some improving. But today it didn't show at all. Today, he came out firing," Pospisil said. "It's a positive week for me. I just had a great week for sure."
Raonic admitted he felt "relieved" and "happy" having won his biggest title after lingering disappointment over his Wimbledon semifinal loss to Roger Federer. He also now feel this title makes him believe he can win any tournament moving forward.
On all the expectations about playing in the all-Canadian final Raonic said he tried not to think about too much. "I was happy with the way I dealt with it as soon as the match started."
Now headed home, Raonic looks forward to both the added expectation of playing in his country and being able to be with family. He only sees himself going higher in the rankings.
"I think I'm playing at a high level. I think the number I have beside my name is not a coincidence, and I don't think it would be a coincidence if it got lower."