Del Potro to face Raonic in the Tokyo final

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In-form Milos Raonic (Player Bio), who came to Tokyo on the heels of last week’s Thailand Open success, entered his second consecutive Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Champinships final after seeing off Ivan Dodig (Player Bio) of Croatia in the semis today. The unseeded Croat played some good tennis this week as he eliminated second seed Tsonga earlier in the tournament to reach his third semi-final in 2013. Raonic failed to convert the only break point of the opener which thus ended in a tie-break – Dodig built a 4-1 lead in the thirteenth game, but could not win a single point after that and allowed his opponent to move one nil up. The big-serving Canadian shifted into higher gear in the second set which was only equal until 1-1 as the third seed broke twice before serving out the match with a hold to love, thus claiming a 7-6 (4), 6-1 victory. He scored 12 aces to Dodig’s 7 and won 76% of service points (Dodig 63%).

Top seed Juan Martin Del Potro (Player Bio) will also play in Tokyo final for the second time after losing a title clash to Berdych in 2008. Sixth seed Spaniard Nicolas Almagro (Player Bio) was more than a worthy opponent in the today’s semi-finals and the outcome could have easily been different had Almagro taken advantage of the set point opportunity in the first-set tie-break. The athletes maintained high level of serving in the set number two and the spectators at the Centre Court were in for another breaker – this one went smoothly for Delpo who closed out the match after slightly less than two hours of tennis. He edged out the Spaniard 7-6 (7), 7- 6 (1) and will now try to revenge this year’s Canadian Masters loss against Raonic tomorrow. That was the only time the Tokyo finalists have met on ATP tour.

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