Tennis

Raonic advances, Pospisil ousted at Cincinnati event

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The Canadian Press
8/15/2013 1:19:09 AM
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MASON, Ohio -- Milos Raonic advanced to the third round of the Western & Southern Open on the same day fellow Canadians Vasek Pospisil and Eugenie Bouchard were knocked out.

The 12th-seeded Raonic beat Janko Tipsarevic in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6 (4) on Wednesday. It's his third win in as many tries over Tipsarevic, and comes a day after he struggled somewhat in a three-set first-round match over American Jack Sock.

"I played better than yesterday," Raonic said. "I was better from the baseline and created more opportunities for myself. It was a pretty clean match."

Raonic will face American John Isner next. Isner won their only other match in the Toronto quarter-finals a year ago.

"Isner will be tough, it will come down to a few points," Raonic said. "I have to serve well and keep the pressure on him in that sense. If I create opportunities I have to make the most of them and play as disciplined as possible."

Raonic, a native of Thornhill, Ont., became the first Canadian man to be ranked in the top 10 in the world after reaching the final of the Rogers Cup in Montreal. He lost to Rafael Nadal after beating Pospisil in the semifinals.

Pospisil, who rose to 40th in the world rankings after reaching the Rogers Cup semifinals, was upset Wednesday 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (6) by Belgian qualifier David Goffin, who's ranked 80th.

Pospisil's prediction that he would have a tough time with Goffin proved to be correct, despite 13 aces and the Belgian's nine double faults. He failed to convert on four match points.

"It was a tough match with a lot of ups and downs," said Pospisil. "I didn't start great but I played better in the second set. Serving for the match and then in the tiebreak I played some shots too passively."

Pospisil fell on a late break in the opening set but roared back to sweep the second.

The third set was tight, with Pospisil grabbing a 6-5 lead on a break and moving into position to serve out victory. But the outcome was never secure as Goffin saved a match point in the next game and then forced Pospisil to salvage a break point before finally dropping to 6-6 on a forehand that went long.

In the tiebreaker, Pospisil had three more match points and failed to convert on all of them. Goffin seized his opportunity with his first match point, converting it to send Pospisil out after nearly 2 1/2 hours.

"He hit his best shot of the match on the last match point, too good," Pospisil said. "There are a lot of things I would have changed. But now I need to get some rest before the U.S. Open."

Pospisil said he was feeling "a bit burnt out" and needs to sharpen some things in practice.

"I'm a little emotionally drained," he said. "Maybe it's good to rest before the Open."

Bouchard will get some rest after putting a scare into world No. 1 Serena Williams. Bouchard won the first set before Williams asserted herself in a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory.

Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli was knocked out of the tournament with her loss to Simona Halep in three excruciating sets that left Bartoli's Achilles, shoulder, hips and back aching. After the match, the 28-year-old announced her retirement from tennis.

"It's been a tough decision to take," said Bartoli, who won her first Grand Slam title less than two months ago. "I don't take this easily. I mean, I've been a tennis player for a long time and I had a chance to make my biggest dream a reality. I felt I really, really pushed through the ultimate limits to make it happen.

"But now I just can't do it anymore."

Back on the men's side, the fourth-seeded Nadal defeated German qualifier Benjamin Becker 6-2, 6-2. Nadal has now won 11 straight on hard courts.

"I should be very happy with the way that I played since the beginning," Nadal said. "Just for a few games, the serve was down a little bit. For the rest, I think I played a great match."

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray had an easy time in his opening match at the tournament, which he has won twice. The second-seeded Murray needed only 69 minutes to beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-3.

Murray, who is also the defending U.S. Open champion, was coming off a third-round loss last week in Montreal, his first action since becoming the first British male to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. He's using the tournament in Cincinnati to get ready to defend his Open title.

"He made more mistakes than I expected," Murray said. "I just want to play as many matches as I can. It's important to get a few matches in before New York. I didn't make too many errors and hit a high percentage of first serves."

His volleys were erratic, something he'll work on the rest of the week.

"I just missed a couple," he said. "Hopefully, I'll get that going as the week goes on."

Murray will play 36th-ranked Julien Benneteau in the third round.

Top seed Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Monaco of Argentina, 7-5, 6-2 while Juan Martin del Potro took down Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 7-5.

Eleventh-seeded German Tommy Haas also advanced, beating No. 46 Spaniard Marcel Granollers, 6-4, 6-1. He earned a matchup with fifth-seeded and five-time tournament champion Roger Federer.

Milos Raonic (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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