No Hokey, Raonic Edges Verdasco for First ATP Title, Will Play Re-Match Wednesday in Memphis
by Sean Randall | February 13th, 2011, 10:40 pm

It’s official, Milos Raonic is a new star in men’s tennis. Today, the big-serving Canuck beat Fernando Verdasco 7-6(8), 7-6(5) to capture the SAP Open in San Jose. ADHEREL

Raonic just burst onto the global tennis scene last month reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open where he lost to another Spaniard, David Ferrer (Raonic lost to Rafael Nadal in the fall, also). But Raonic, who received a wildcard to play the event, got revenge on Spain today – though he’s coached by a Spaniard, Galo Blanco.

“It’s been a quick month-and-a half but it’s been an amazing month-and-half and I look to keep this going on as much as I can,” a very composed Roanic said on the winner’s stand. “This is what I’ve always dreamed of and it’s fun. It’s all been amazing things that have been happening to me and all the work I’ve put in.”

Verdasco, who won the title last year beating Andy Roddick, led the youngster 6-2 in the first set tiebreak before gagging losing six straight points to drop the opener.

In the second set Roanic hung tough and wouldn’t give in to Verdasco who grew increasingly irritated with the his inability to penetrate Raonic’s service games. And down match point a fan yelled out just as Verdasco netted a return. Verdasco pleaded but there would be no replay, match over.

Afterward, the top seed had an concise explanation for the loss.

“His serve. Easy,” said Verdasco who actually won five more points in the match but lost. “He deserves the victory here.”

Raonic finished with 13 aces and lost just seven points on his first serve. To his credit, Verdasco played well – he lost just 11 points total on serve – but when things got tight (tiebreakers) he once again faltered.

There were no breaks in the match with Verdasco having squandered the lone break opportunity. And Raonic isn’t just a serve. He can really belt his forehand and his backhand, and he has good feel at the net.

In an early comparison to Roddick, Andy had the bigger serve and forehand, but Roanic is much stronger from the ground overall and far better at the net. So we’ll see just how high this kid can get. No doubt the hype machine will be in overdrive the next 45 days or so with a new North American star!

In addition to 250 ATP points he earns, which will bump his ranking just inside the Top 60, and the $92,000 in prize money, Raonic also received a bottle of Maple syrup. And perhaps fittingly, the first Canadian to win since Greg Rusedski in 1995 (Seoul) did it in of all places a hockey Arena.

On Wednesday night Raonic will again meet Verdasco in the first round in Memphis.

If you didn’t believe the kid’s a future Top 10 before, what say you now?

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Roddick Leads Five Americans into Memphis 2nd RD; Verdasco v. Raonic Rematch Tonight

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25 Comments for No Hokey, Raonic Edges Verdasco for First ATP Title, Will Play Re-Match Wednesday in Memphis

Andrew Miller Says:

Sheesh….I’d say Raonic’s victory is ominous. Verdasco in the past may have been the biggest underachiever on tour but since Davis Cup 2008 he’s been pretty tough and easily the tour’s most-improved player (outside of Nadal, who improves every year!).

So…ominous…Raonic playing like a world beater.

Gordo Says:

Until Milos get into the top 16 he is going to be a very dangerous floater in every tournament he plays in. But the way he is playing, with nothing but challenger point to replace for the next several months we could see his star rising very fast.

Congratulations Milos! Well done.

missy Says:

Actually, Raonic started to stand out at the earlier US Open. I am so impressed how Raonic fought back in tonight’s first tiebreaker to win it. Nerves of steel and what a serve!! Congrats, Milos!!! What a match!!!

jane Says:

Do you mean no hokey or no hockey Sean? Haha. Congrats to Raonic, the rising star.

stu Says:

what? Milos? this is amazing!

awww Nando. when will you learn to just get it together when opportunity arises and WIN?!

jane Says:

And Aracde Fire, Canadian, won best album of the year at the Grammys. Good day for us up here, eh? ;)

andrea Says:

after watching the review of the 2010 olympics and hearing about roanic’s win…feeling the canadian pride! and good for arcade fire….i heard lady gaga showed up carried in an egg by attendants…she’s getting weirder by the day.

dAri Says:

Canadia is taking ova!

jane Says:

Sean, not sure if you knew this when you made the Roddick / Raonic comparison, but I justvread this in the Globe & Mail:

“The Canadian will also reportedly be playing doubles with the top seed in the singles competition, Andy Roddick.”

jane Says:

Of course, referring to Memphis next week…^

Dory Says:

Whatever little I saw of Raonic at the Aussie Open. He seemed another all-serve-and-mostly-no-game type of player but hopefully he will improve.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Rankings out. Milos moves up 29 places but that is nowhere near the biggest mover: JMDP up 150 spots to 298!

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Or was it 198? Whatever, he moved over 100 spots.

Trilby Says:

Way to go, Milos! How exciting for tennis fans north of the border to have our own up-and-comer with such presence and promise. Wanna bet certain sports commentators – no one at Tennis X, of course – will start describing him as ‘North American’, thereby subliminally enhancing the US presence on the tour?

dAri Says:

Whenever you guys talk about dimitrov, I first think about dmitry tursinov. Right now g. Dimitrov is playing d. Tursinov in Marseille, so I’ve got it all straightened out!
Happy Valentine day to tennis-xers!

Kimmi Says:

dari – i was pronouncing “mailos” ha-ha..way off

Kimmi Says:

dimitrov losing a very close match, must hurt. if he can make these matches this close, he just required that believe to win them.

needs to continue working hard..soon thing will come together.

Kimmi Says:

oh, so somebody yelled on a match point when nando was returning the serve..i was wondering why nando was was really loud too. cazy fans.

bad luck for hot sauce coz the match was very close.. meelosh played well so he deserve the win.

Kimberly Says:

Verdasco was red hot mad. Happy valentines day everyone.

skeezerweezer Says:

Happy Valentines Day to all the HOT tennis ladies on Tennis X, you know who you are!!!!!

Skeeze :-)

skeezerweezer Says:


Congrats dude! Is S & V back? Me hopes so! Break up that baseline camp out with a tent and play horseshoes stuff….

thark Says:




Cherry Says:

This rematch will be a good one. I can’t wait to see who will win. Verdasco must give his all in the first round against Raonic.

Gregoire Gentil Says:

Hantuchova and Kvitova just lost in Dubai. Winners of last week were probably too tired.

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