Milos Raonic sets sights on ATP World Tour Finals spot
Milos Raonic beats Go Soeda at the Japan Open and keeps his hopes of qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals alive
Milos Raonic swept past Go Soeda to reach the second round of the Japan Open and keep his hopes of qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals alive.
The 22-year-old Canadian third seed hit 24 aces and dropped only two points out of 40 on his first serve to wrap up a 6-4 7-6(0) win against his Japanese opponent.
Raonic currently trails eighth-placed Stanislas Wawrinka by 545 points in the race to London and notched up his 16th win in 20 matches for a place in round two in Tokyo.
“I did a lot of things well,” said Raonic, who has a 17-5 record since losing in the second round at Wimbledon.
“It was a very early time for me to play, as I played night matches last week. I feel I am a much better player than I was last year, because I have had more experiences.”
Asked about the possibility of qualifying for the season-ending tournament in London, Raonic replied: “I know that I have a long way to go. I just have to stay focused on my matches, because as long as it doesn’t enter my mind during a match I am fine.”
Meanwhile, second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was beaten by Croatia’s Ivan Dodig in the second round in Tokyo.
Speaking after the 6-4 7-6(5) defeat, Tsonga admitted that he will need more time to recover from the left knee injury which caused him to pull out of Wimbledon and miss the US Open.
“I have to play matches, if I am to come back to my best,” said Tsonga. “My movement was not perfect and maybe I took a little longer to get into the match, but he played a good match.”
Elsewhere, top seed Juan Martin Del Potro breezed through to the third round in Tokyo with a comprehensive 6-2 6-2 win over fellow Argentinian Carlos Berlocq.