Milos Raonic (Bio) is making his first run at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after securing his second title of the season yesterday in Bangkok. The Canadian No. 1 defeated top seed Tomas Berdych (Bio) 7-6(4), 6-3 to win the title in 77 minutes.
While Raonic is still ranked at No. 11, he is a mere 390 points away from overtaking Richard Gasquet, who he defeated in the semi-finals in Thailand over the weekend. Gasquet is currently in the 9th spot in the “Race to London” yet with Murray unlikely to compete due to his recent back surgery, it is likely that there will be an extra spot ripe for the taking.
“It would mean a lot, it was a goal,” Raonic said on his intentions to qualify. “After [the] clay and grass [seasons], it seemed very distant…. I’ve put a lot of good results together.”
The 22-year-old has put together an impressive hard court season, reaching the finals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal as well as the quarter-finals at the US Open. He also reached a career-high of No. 10 in August, marking the first Canadian player to reach the top 10 since its inception in 1973. Now with his second title of the season, an opportunity to make is first appearance in the World Tour Finals is quite possible.
“I think I’m playing great tennis, I’m serving really well, I’m doing a lot of good things,” Raonic said. “If I keep that up I think I’ll have opportunities and will put myself in a good position, no matter who [I play].”
The Canadian is only 180 behind Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is currently in the 10th spot in the race. They are both scheduled to compete in the Tokyo event this week, which is an opportunity for Raonic to overtake the Frenchman and get one step closer to the qualifying.