ATP Tour

Raonic, Nara reach finals

2014-08-02 22:48
Milos Raonic (AFP)

Washington - Seventh-ranked Milos Raonic, coming off his first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon, powered into the final of the ATP and WTA Washington Open on Saturday by defeating American Donald Young.

The 23-year-old Canadian second seed fired 15 aces in downing 73rd-ranked Young 6-4, 7-5 at the US Open hardcourt warm-up event to reach his 11th ATP final and first since falling to Juan Martin Del Potro last September at Tokyo.

Raonic, seeking his sixth career title and first since last year at Bangkok, will next face the winner of a later semi-final between French sixth seed Richard Gasquet and Canada's Vasek Pospisil, who completed a rain-halted victory early Saturday to advance.

Pospisil, who teamed with American Jack Sock to win the Wimbledon doubles crown, downed Colombia's Santiago Giraldo 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-4, in a match halted Friday night two points into the final set.

Japan's Kurumi Nara advanced to the women's final by outlasting New Zealand's Marina Erakovic 0-6, 6-4, 6-4. She will face the winner of a later match between Russians Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ekaterina Makarova.

Raonic broke Young in the final game of each set, taking the match after 75 minutes when the American netted a backhand. Raonic won 33-of-36 first-serve points in the match and never faced a break point.

Young, who never faced Raonic before, still enjoyed his deepest ATP run since reaching the 2011 Bangkok final, where he lost to Britain's Andy Murray.

Pospisil took the only break of the final set in the last game after spending only 10 hours away from the courts overnight.

"The rain really didn't help me. I was in a really good groove," Pospisil said. "I took the confidence I had from the second set into the third, was swinging freely."

It is the first time Pospisil, 0-4 in prior ATP semi-finals, has faced a tour two-in-one-day situation.

"I'll recover as quickly as I can," Pospisil said. "It's definitely a bit of a speed bump for me."

Pospisil won his only meeting with Gasquet last year at Shanghai.

Nara, who won her first career WTA title earlier this year at Rio de Janeiro, dropped the first eight games of the match but the 22-year-old battled back to reach her second career WTA singles final.

"I was panicking first set but I tried to calm down and relax and move quicker and it helped me," Nara said.

The slow start brought Nara, who had never faced the Kiwi in a main-draw match, flashbacks of a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Erakovic in 2011 French Open qualifying.

"End of first set I was thinking, 'Second time,'" Nara said. "But I tried to be more relaxed."

Nara, ranked 40th, is already projected to jump to a career high in next week's WTA rankings, surpassing the mark of 38th she set last month.

Read more on:    washington open  |  milos raonic  |  tennis

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