Melzer trips up Raonic

2012-02-27 10:57
Jurgen Melzer (File)
Memphis - Jurgen Melzer wasn't about to let an aching toe get in the way as he faced one of the hottest players on ATP Tour, who was making a second-straight appearance in the Memphis final.

The unseeded Melzer defeated Milos Raonic 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) in the final of the $1.37 million ATP and WTA Memphis Open to capture his fourth career ATP title on Sunday.

"Who would have thought I would come here break my toe and end up winning the tournament," Melzer said.

Melzer broke the big toe on his right foot when he tripped over his bed in the hotel room on Thursday night.

He decided against putting a wrap or cast on it and went out the next day and beat top seed John Isner in the quarter-finals.

Melzer, who upset Isner and third seed Radek Stepanek en route to the final, clinched Sunday's victory in a second set tie-break when Raonic hammered a backhand into the net.

The left-handed Austrian earned $278 000 in prize money for his first win since successfully defending his crown in his hometown of Vienna two years ago.

"This is a very important time for me," Melzer said. "I am happy I pulled it through."

It was the second year in a row the fourth-seeded Canadian Raonic lost in the Memphis final after winning the week before in San Jose.

Melzer broke Raonic's mighty serve in the seventh game of the second set to cut Raonic's lead to 4-3. Melzer then survived a set point in the 10th game before both players held serve to set up the tie-break.

Melzer also broke Raonic's serve in the 11th game of the first set to take a 6-5 lead. He ended the 41-minute opening set with an ace out wide on his second set point that Raonic couldn't reach with his backhand.

By taking the first set, Melzer snapped Raonic's 2012 win streak at 19 consecutive sets. Raonic had not lost a set since he fell to Aussie Lleyton Hewitt in the third round of the Australia Open in January.

Melzer reached a career high ranking of eighth in the world in early 2011 but then struggled in the second half of the season, losing in the first round in three straight tournaments in August before finishing the year with a 22-23 record.

"I went through a hard time last year with a lot of back problems this is finally an achievement that puts me out of the dark times," Melzer said.

Raonic, who lost in last year's final to American veteran Andy Roddick, came into Sunday's championship match riding a nine-match win streak and was seeking to add the Memphis crown to titles he already won this year in San Jose and Chennai.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

SuperBru Super Rugby challenge

Enter and challenge Sport24's staff!


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.