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Raonic roars into Monte Carlo third round

Apr 18, 2018
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Milos Raonic moved on to the third round of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Wednesday with an impressive 7-6(5), 6-2 win over clay-court specialist Marco Cecchinato of Italy. The big-serving Canadian hit 16 aces and was only broken once – while attempting to serve out the first set – in the one hour, 25 minute match.

The first set was tightly contested, with both players generating opportunities on the other’s serve. Mid-way through the set, however, Raonic was treated for acute pain in his right knee. Following a quick treatment by the trainer and a couple of painkillers, the former World No. 3 was back on track, holding serve to love and eventually breaking his Italian opponent.

Although he would be unable to serve out the set as a result of some brilliant play by the No. 100-ranked Cecchinato, Raonic would produce his best tennis to close out the set in the tiebreak. He sealed the first set with an overhead smash winner on the back of a pin-point return down the line.

The second set was a much simpler affair. Raonic was able to dial in his baseline game to break Cecchinato’s serve in the sixth game of the set and then once again to close out the match with a roar of celebration. The Canadian finished the match with 31 winners to just 18 errors – a significant improvement to his numbers from his three-set opening-round encounter – and was his usual dominant self on serve, winning 78% of service points.

Next up for Milos is Marin Cilic, against whom he owns a 1-2 head-to-head record against. Cilic won their most recent encounter in the championship match in Istanbul last season, where both players were competing for their first clay-court title. The two big-servers will play for a spot in the final eight of the prestigious ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event.

(Feature photo credit: Yann Coatsaliou/Agence France-Presse)