Raonic overcomes Soeda to reach 2nd round at Japan Open

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The last seeded player to enter the second round at Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships was last year’s runner-up Milos Raonic (Player Profile) who dismissed home crowd favorite Go Soeda (Player Profile) in straight sets. The only break of serve in their first ATP meeting occurred in the early stages of the opening set which allowed the third seed Canadian to go 3-1 up. Raonic had a chance to double the lead in the seventh game, yet he seized the opener nonetheless. As there were no break point chances created in the set number two the outcome would be decided in the tie-break – Raonic prevented the Japanese getting on the board in the thirteenth game to wrap up the clash in one hour and twenty minutes. The 22-year-old hit 23 aces and won 95% of first serve rallies en route to the 6-4, 7-6 (0) victory. He will square off against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy next.

92nd-ranked Polish qualifier Michal Przysiezny (Player Profile) entered the second round in Tokyo after turning around the opener against World no. 37 Marcel Granollers (Player Profile). The Spaniard dominated the first set in which he acquired a double break cushion by 5-0 and served it out with a hold to love. It seemed as though the match was getting out of the Pole’s reach as he was broken to love in the fifth game of the second set, yet this time he responded masterfully by claiming two successive breaks to level the terms. He used the momentum shift to break early in the decider and eventually converted the first match point to win 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. His last 16 opponent will be the Finn number one Jarkko Nieminen (Player Profile) who sent home an eight-time ATP title holder Juan Monaco (Player Profile) of Argentina by winning 7-6 (4), 6-1.

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