A compelling match-up between Feliciano Lopez and Milos Raonic is set to take place on Friday afternoon at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. It will mark the fourth time the two big servers will meet on the professional tour, with the Canadian leading the head-to-head series 2-1. Their most recent two encounter – both in 2013 – were close matches and this is not likely to be much different, even though it is taking place on Raonic’s home soil in Toronto.
Sixth seed and hometown favourite Milos Raonic sent the Canadian crowd home happy on Thursday evening when he defeated a very game Julien Benneteau 6-3, 4-6, 6- to secure his spot in the quarter-final round of the tournament. Raonic hit 5 aces in the first set and won a total of 81% of his first service points without facing any break points on serve.
It appeared as though the Thornhill native would be well on his way to a comfortable victory when Benneteau broke to lead 4-2 in the second set. It would not last though as Raonic broke back immediately the following game and leveled the match at 4-4. That would not be enough for the Canadian as the Frenchman forced a second break of serve to send the match to a deciding set.
Raonic immediately went on the offensive and broke for a 2-0 lead in the decider. That would be all he needed to secure the victory and his spot in the quarter-final round
His opponent Feliciano rallied from a set down to defeat Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Berdych looked solid in the opening frame but appeared to have injured himself in the second set and it was all downhill from there. After losing the second set he received medical attention on his neck and back but it did not save him from losing a break early in the decider. Lopez hit 11 aces and won 79% of his first service points to secure the victory in 1 hour and 55 minutes.
This marks the fourth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour with Raonic leading the series 2-1. The Canadian has faced some tough opponents but stayed calm and maintained his composure to work himself to a victory. It is hard to imagine anything different this time around.
Prediction: Milos Raonic in Three Sets