Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, Tokyo
Centre Court, Third Match
Milos Raonic (Player Info) looks to extend his winning streak to six matches when he takes on Frenchman Jeremy Chardy (Player Info) in their round two clash in Tokyo. Raonic vs Chardy Head to Head stands at 2-2.
After Bangkok, Raonic showed no signs of post-title hangover as he defeated Go Soeda in first round, dropping just two points on first serve in a 6-4 7-6 victory. The Canadian’s serve was firing as he slammed down a mammoth 24 aces – accounting for just under 50% of the total points he won on serve.
Meanwhile, Chardy found it much tougher against the experienced Marco Chiudinelli, needing three hours to come through in a 7-6 3-6 7-6 against the Swiss. Chardy broke just once in the match but it was a vital one, helping him get back into the third set which he eventually closed out.
It looks likely that the scheduling will catch up with Chardy as he looks to back up that lengthy match against a tough opponent the next day. The Frenchman has found it hard this year with losses to Martin Fucsovics and Michael Berrer a reflection of his form in the second half of the year.
He is just 7-8 on hard courts this year, with one of those losses coming against Raonic in Montreal. It was far from convincing in Milos’ home tournament but he showed improvement as the tournament went on, making the final. Both that match and the Paris 2012 meeting which Raonic also won have gone to three sets but he has a great chance to close it out in straights this time round.
Prediction – Milos Raonic in 2 sets