Raonic Wins Cincy Opener against Sock, Faces Tipsarevic in Next Round

Milos Raonic Cincy-001

By Kevin Ware

(August 13, 2013) MASON,  Ohio – Canadian Milos Raonic defeated American Jack Sock 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in his opening match at the Western and Southern Open. But it wasn’t easy, or pretty.

Their only previous meeting on tour was earlier this year in Memphis, with Sock beating the newly-crowned three-time San Jose champ in three hard-fought sets, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5.

“I came into that match having just won a title (San Jose). He came out really without much to lose, playing well and playing aggressive, and never let me get into a rhythm.”

Using the same game plan as Memphis, Sock came out in the first set firing big with his serve and forehand. And though Sock is listed at 180 lbs., he scrambled effectively in defense of Raonic’s own equally big forehand and serve, at one point retrieving 3 overheads before hitting a winner past the frustrated Canadian.

Fresh on the heels of his runner-up finish in Montreal, Raonic was clearly out of sorts with his game. He often looked in exasperation at his easy misses, and often gestured to his coach, Ivan Lubjcic. It speaks volumes that one of the best servers on tour gave up the only break in that set.

“Today I was trying to find that (rhythm) again. And he was serving really well in the beginning so I couldn’t find any openings. But I sort of stuck through it. And here the conditions were slower, so it gave me a better chance.”

Raonic admitted that he started slower than he would have liked, needing time to “get used to the environment” after his quick turnaround between Sunday’s final and today’s opener. In the end, he managed the win with a critical break of Sock’s serve in the in the sixth game. From there, it was just a matter of holding serve to close out the match.

The serve stats bear out Raonic’s troubles on the night, with a 58% serving percentage for the match. It wasn’t quite as bad as his percentage against Nadal in the Montreal final, but nowhere near what it will need to be in order to have a chance against this field. Still, it was good enough to get by on an off night.

When asked what helped him turn around this match, Raonic credited the confidence gained during his week in Montreal. “It makes it easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel knowing that hopefully I can play better the next set. I just got to keep working through it.”

Jack Sock

Jack Sock

The subject of confidence also came up the other day in his pre-tournament press conference. After mentioning the confidence gained during his week in Montreal, Raonic was asked to compare it to the confidence he exuded after winning the SAP Open for a third straight year.

“I think it feels a little bit more significant just because of maybe how harsh I was on myself after Wimbledon, how disappointed I was… Because it just sort of helps you get that step forward and get everything going in the right way.  I think it just sort of stands out a little bit more.”

Raonic’s second-round opponent is Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia. He owns a 2-0 head-to-head record against Tipsarevic, but had to go the distance in both. In fact, 5 of their 6 sets were decided by a tiebreaker. He expects another difficult encounter when they meet here in Cincinnati.

“It’s going to be a tough match. I‘ve got to keep doing what I’ve been doing, and be a little bit cleaner on my service games. And when I get ahead in games I need to be better about closing them out.”

Did this match against Sock work out the kinks and help him adjust to the conditions, or will he need to hit the practice courts hard in order to be better prepared against Tipsarevic?

“The match made the difference. It’s going to give me a lot more comfort coming out tomorrow. And I also think during the daytime the conditions will be quicker. So it’s going to be a little bit better.”

Kevin Ware is covering the Western & Southern Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

Cincinnati, OH, USA
August 12-18, 2013

Results – Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Singles – Second Round
(2) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (Q) Vania King (USA) 61 76(6)
Sloane Stephens (USA) d. (3) Maria Sharapova (RUS) 26 76(5) 63

WTA Singles – First Round
(10) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 61 61
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. (13) Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 36 61 63
(14) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Sabine Lisicki (GER) 76(5) 57 62
Alizé Cornet (FRA) d. (15) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 26 76(8) 64 (saved 5mp)
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (Q) Annika Beck (GER) 63 62
Jamie Hampton (USA) d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 75 46 63
Mona Barthel (GER) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 63 64
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) d. Julia Goerges (GER) 62 46 64
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 62 26 62
(Q) Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. (WC) Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 26 64 61
(Q) Polona Hercog (SLO) d. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 62 64
(LL) Monica Niculescu (ROU) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 61 62

WTA Doubles – First Round
(6) Groenefeld/Peschke (GER/CZE) d. Husarova/Niculescu (SVK/ROU) 62 63
(7) Chan/Srebotnik (TPE/SLO) d. Aoyama/Scheepers (JPN/RSA) 63 62
Huber/Llagostera Vives (USA/ESP) d. Mladenovic/Voskoboeva (FRA/KAZ) 76(3) 63
Pavlyuchenkova/Safarova (RUS/CZE) d. Lepchenko/Zheng (USA/CHN) 64 63
(WC) Kerber/Petkovic (GER/GER) d. Black/Erakovic (ZIM/NZL) 76(5) 76(6)
(WC) King/Kleybanova (USA/RUS) d. Grandin/Jurak (RSA/CRO) 64 75

ATP Singles – Second Round
[3] D Ferrer (ESP) d [WC] R Harrison (USA) 76(5) 36 64
[5] R Federer (SUI) d P Kohlschreiber (GER) 63 76(7)
G Dimitrov (BUL) d [WC] B Baker (USA) 63 62
J Benneteau (FRA) d R Stepanek (CZE) 62 57 76(4)

ATP Singles – First Round
[9] S Wawrinka (SUI) d A Seppi (ITA) 63 64
F Lopez (ESP) d [10] K Nishikori (JPN) 64 76(4)
[11] T Haas (GER) d K Anderson (RSA) 64 64
[12] M Raonic (CAN) d [WC] J Sock (USA) 36 64 63
V Pospisil (CAN) d [15] G Simon (FRA) 63 11 ret. (hip flexor strain)
J Isner (USA) d F Mayer (GER) 63 64
N Davydenko (RUS) d B Paire (FRA) 76(8) 63
[Q] B Becker (GER) d [Q] P Andujar (ESP) 61 64
J Nieminen (FIN) d [Q] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 63 64
T Robredo (ESP) d T Bellucci (BRA) 67(6) 76(7) 62
M Youzhny (RUS) d E Gulbis (LAT) 75 63

Doubles – First Round

J Chardy (FRA) / R Gasquet (FRA) d [WC] B Baker (USA) / R Ram (USA) 64 64
[WC] J Blake (USA) / S Johnson (USA) d I Dodig (CRO) / M Melo (BRA) 62 75
S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) d F Fognini (ITA) / J Monaco (ARG) 64 63


CENTER COURT start 11:00 am
M Youzhny (RUS) vs [2] A Murray (GBR) – ATP
Not Before 1:00 PM
[1] S Williams (USA) vs [Q] E Bouchard (CAN) – WTA
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs J Monaco (ARG) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
[Q] B Becker (GER) vs [4] R Nadal (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 8:30 PM
[WC] L Davis (USA) vs [5] N Li (CHN) – WTA

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[11] S Stosur (AUS) vs J Hampton (USA) – WTA
Not Before 1:00 PM
J Isner (USA) vs [8] R Gasquet (FRA) – ATP
[12] M Raonic (CAN) vs J Tipsarevic (SRB) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
S Halep (ROU) vs [8] M Bartoli (FRA) – WTA
S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) vs [6] R Lindstedt (SWE) / D Nestor (CAN) – ATP

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
M Granollers (ESP) vs [11] T Haas (GER) – ATP
N Davydenko (RUS) vs [7] J Del Potro (ARG) – ATP
V Williams (USA) vs E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA
[4] A Radwanska (POL) vs V Lepchenko (USA) – WTA
Not Before 7:00 PM
[6] T Berdych (CZE) vs J Nieminen (FIN) – ATP

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
[6] S Errani (ITA) vs [Q] P Hercog (SLO) – WTA
[7] P Kvitova (CZE) vs [Q] M Erakovic (NZL) – WTA
[Q] D Tursunov (RUS) vs [WC] J Blake (USA) – ATP
[1] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA) vs [WC] D Hantuchova (SVK) / M Hingis (SUI) – WTA-After Suitable Rest
T Robredo (ESP) vs [9] S Wawrinka (SUI) – ATP

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
[Q] A Petkovic (GER) vs [12] R Vinci (ITA) – WTA
[9] A Kerber (GER) vs A Kleybanova (RUS) – WTA
[LL] M Niculescu (ROU) vs [10] C Wozniacki (DEN) – WTA
[PR] M Fish (USA) / J Melzer (AUT) vs [2] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) – ATP
P Kohlschreiber (GER) / J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs J Janowicz (POL) / L Kubot (POL) – ATP-After Suitable Rest

COURT 6 start 11:00 am
[Q] D Goffin (BEL) vs V Pospisil (CAN) – ATP
M Barthel (GER) vs [16] M Kirilenko (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 2:00 PM
[14] J Jankovic (SRB) vs E Makarova (RUS) – WTA
[8] R Bopanna (IND) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs A Seppi (ITA) / M Youzhny (RUS) – ATP
Not Before 4:00 PM
[7] H Chan (TPE) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) – WTA

COURT 7 start 11:00 am
K Date-Krumm (JPN) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) vs L Huber (USA) / N Llagostera Vives (ESP) – WTA
Not Before 1:00 PM
F Lopez (ESP) vs J Chardy (FRA) – ATP
A Cornet (FRA) vs M Rybarikova (SVK) – WTA
[4] A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Raymond (USA) vs [WC] A Kerber (GER) / A Petkovic (GER) – WTA-After Suitable Rest
A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) / L Safarova (CZE) vs [6] A Groenefeld (GER) / K Peschke (CZE) – WTA

COURT 10 start 11:00 am

M Llodra (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA) vs M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) – ATP
[3] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) vs M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) – ATP
V Dushevina (RUS) / S Soler-Espinosa (ESP) vs [3] S Hsieh (TPE) / S Peng (CHN) – WTA
[WC] K Flipkens (BEL) / P Kvitova (CZE) vs J Goerges (GER) / B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) – WTA-After Suitable Rest
[WC] V King (USA) / A Kleybanova (RUS) vs [2] E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA-After Suitable Rest