Chennai - Big-serving Milos Raonic enhanced his reputation as one of the hottest young stars in men's tennis when he won the ATP Chennai Open title on Sunday in a nail-biting encounter.
The 21-year-old Canadian, named the ATP's newcomer of 2011 for jumping from 156 to 31 in the rankings, overcame world No 9 and top seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/4).
The six feet five inches (196cm tall Raonic blasted 35 aces against Tipsarevic's eight to win only his second career title after a rousing final that lasted three hours and 13 minutes.
Raonic earned $71 000 and 250 ranking points, while Tipsarevic got $37 860 and 150 points ahead of the season's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on January 16.
Neither player was able to secure a service break in the entire match that was watched by a sell-out crowd of 5 200 at the Nungambakkam tennis stadium in the southern Indian city.
Raonic came from behind after Tipsarevic had taken the tie-breaker in the first set with two superb cross-court passes that left his opponent stranded.
It was the first time that Raonic had lost a set in the entire tournament that was played on hard courts.
Tipsarevic saved two break points in the seventh game of the second set, but it was Raonic's turn to dominate the tie-breaker and level the match.
Raonic wasted two of the four match points he earned in the tie-breaker of the final set before converting the third when Tipsarevic netted a forehand return.
Tipsarevic, who broke into the top 10 for the first time last year, had lost in the semi-finals in Chennai in the last two editions.
The Serb will return to court later on Sunday partnering Indian veteran Leander Paes in the doubles final against the Israeli pair of Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich.