Connect to share and comment
By Phoebe Ho, Yan Zhonghua
TORONTO, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Milos Raonic kept Canadian hope alive at Toronto's Rogers Cup tournament after a close and emotional match against Jack Sock, while the only Chinese Taipei player Yen-Hsun Lu fell to Tomas Berdych, the No. 4 seed in an intense battle on Wednesday.
The last of the five home players left standing in the tourney, Raonic, the talented server edged out 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(4) to break Sock in a tiebreaker with 15 aces compared to the American's three.
Raonic was off to a rocky start, with his backhand all over the map. He quickly fell behind in the first set, giving fans a scare. But Raonic pulled through and pushed it to a third set, and eventually tiebreak.
"I had a few forehands that I usually don't miss, I wouldn't miss, that let me down in two kind of big points," Sock explained. "I had a good look at one at 3-2 up in the breaker to go up a mini break, and then obviously there at whatever it was, 3-4, missed another one by a few inches."
"Next time just gotta make 'em," he added.
Sock, who's gone head to head against Raonic now for the sixth time, with the Canadian leading 5-1, had gone into the match hoping to avenge last week's loss to Raonic on his home turf.
It's been 56 years since a Canadian has won the men's tournament. Passionate fans, hoping to see one of their own win the tourney once again, rooted for the homegrown star right through the end, giving Raonic the push he needed.
"There was a lot of difficult moments facing a lot of -- not a lot, but a few break points on second serve. And then I just sort of started getting even," said Raonic. "When it might have sort of been uncharacteristic of myself, I started trying to pump myself up, got the crowd into it and sort of helped with the flow of getting myself into the match."
Even though Sock got almost no support from the crowd, he didn't mind it.
"It was very fun atmosphere. A couple of them were a little more rude than I thought. I thought he got treated pretty well last week in the States, and there were some pretty inappropriate comments tonight," he said. "But it kind of is what it is, and kind of used to now when you play in other countries, they want their home guy to win, understandable."
"At the end it was pretty electric, and you could definitely feel it out there," he added.
Raonic will be up against Frenchman Julien Benneteau in a third round match tomorrow.
After Raonic's victory, Chinese Taipei's Lu was defeated in a match against Berdych, who won 6(4)-7, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 18 minutes.
Lu, who looked like he was going to lose the first set early on picked up his play, made the adjustments he needed to take the first set.
But Berdych stepped up, delivering six aces compared to Lu's one ace in the second set. Despite his seven doublefaults in the two sets, Berdych managed to stay in play.
The two battled furiously in the final set, but Lu couldn't hold back Berdych's powerful serves and ultimately gave him a two-point lead he never caught up to.
The day was filled with close matches, most notably world No. 1 Novak Djokovic's near loss to Gael Monfils.
The top seed was expected to cruise through to the next round after dominating the first set, but Monfils launched a big comeback, worrying fans when the match edged into a tiebreak.
Djokovic eventually defeated the Frenchman 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-6(2) to advance into Round 3 against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Xinhua is China's state-run news agency.
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.