Raonic overcomes Karlovic, Gasquet dismisses Dimitrov at the Thailand Open

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An excellent serving performance from Canadian Milos Raonic saw him move into the quarterfinals in Bangkok, earning a very winnable tie against Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen. Raonic served 14 aces and faced no break points in a 7-6(3) 6-4 win over Ivo Karlovic.

As expected by many, there was very little action on return in many of the games and the predicted tiebreak did occur in the first set. Raonic would prosper in the tie break, taking the first and last service points of Karlovic for a 7-3 victory. A solitary break in the second would be all that was needed for Raonic in the second set, with a love break in game one doing the job. When Raonic got the ball in play in the second set, he would lose just four points (two on first service, two on second serve and one double fault). Karlovic did add some extra respectability to the result in saving two match points at *3-5 but his younger opponent did not make any mistakes in serving it out, doing so with an emphatic love hold.

Richard Gasquet made it three Frenchmen in the quarter finals after he came back from a set down and 5-2 to defeat Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 5-7 7-5 6-4. Nine first set aces (21 in total) helped Dimitrov take the first as he dropped just four points on serve to take the set. He would get the all important break in the final game of the set as Gasquet served to get to a tiebreaker, winning the vital game to 30.

After taking a break point in the second set at 2-1 at the fourth time of asking, it looked like Dimitrov was on his way to one of the best wins of his career and finally beginning to prove why he is so highly rated by many in the tennis world. After saving a break point on the way to taking a 5-2 lead, it would all collapse for Dimitrov as he lost five games in a row to lose the set. Getting as close as deuce when serving for the match, he would eventually be broken and visibly struggled next time as Gasquet finished off the set with 10 points in a row, breaking and and holding to love to tie the match up.

Three holds to 15 in a row for Dimitrov seemed to suggest that the service issues he suffered late in the second set were gone but in the all important game seven of the decider, he would lose the first two points and eventually go on to be broken. Gasquet continued to force the issue and had two match points at 5-3 but would be unable to take them. A love hold would see Gasquet take the match at the third time of asking earning a quarter final with Bernard Tomic.

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