ATP Japan Open SFs: Milos Raonic vs Ivan Dodig Preview

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Canadian No. 1 Milos Raonic (Player Profile) will continue his quest for a spot at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London when he meets Ivan Dodig (Player Profile) in the Tokyo semi-finals tomorrow.  The 23 year old has lost to Dodig  in their two previous encounters on the tour and will be determined to overcome the Croatian obstacle to reach his fourth ATP final of the season. Check out the Raonic vs Dodig Head to Head.

Raonic hit 11 aces and 27/31 of his shots on first serve to beat Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-3 in 63 minutes. It was a comfortable win and an impressive performance from Milos, who lifted the Bangkok title last weekend in Thailand and is currently hunting for his sixth career title.

The third seed reached the finals in Tokyo, where he fell to hometown favourite Kei Nishikori and is now attempting to earn a place in the top 8 in the Race to London so that he could compete in the World Tour Finals in November. He is currently in 11th place and 455 points behind Stanislas Wawrinka in eighth place, yet with the potential absence of Andy Murray due to a back surgery, there may be an extra spot to fill in the final.

Unseeded Ivan Dodig defeated Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-2, 7-6 (3) to reach his his third semifinal of the season. The World No. 34 hit 10 aces , 73% of shots on his first serve and even saved 8 break point chances to close out the match in 91 minutes. The win is another impressive one in a string of great performances this week in Tokyo, as Dodig had also upset second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round of the tournament on Wednesday.  Dodig will be looking to secure his first title of the season after losing in both Eastbourne and Munich.

The two have previously met on two occasions, with Dodig besting Raonic in both. Their last contest was in the Aegon International in Eastbourne back in June, which Dodig won in straight sets 6-2, 7-6(7). The other win came two years prior in Barcelona on the clay. Their Tokyo semifinal marks their first encounter on hard court, which will play to Raonic’s strengths as that is the court that is best suited for his big game. Dodig is 17-11 on hard courts while Raonic is 31-8 on that surface yet considering Dodig’s inspiring performances this week, he could bring his record to 3-0 against the top Canadian talent.

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