Sunday, February 26, 2012

Raonic rolls to another straight-set victory

   These days, the question isn't so much whether anyone can beat Milos Raonic.
   It's whether anyone can take a set off him.
   The 21-year-old Canadian won his ninth consecutive match, all in straight sets, Saturday to reach his second final in two weeks.
  Raonic, the fourth seed coming off his second straight San Jose title, defeated unseeded Benjamin Becker of Germany 6-4, 6-4 in 75 minutes to improve to 15-1 this year and reach the final of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis, Tenn., for the second year in a row.
   Raonic, who lost to Andy Roddick 7-6 (7), 6-7 (11), 7-5 in last year's final, will face unseeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria for the first time today at 1 p.m. PST (Tennis Channel).
   Melzer, a 30-year-old left-hander, beat third-seeded Radek Stepanek, a Czech who lost to Roddick in the 2009 Memphis final, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
   Melzer has fallen to No. 38 in the world because of back trouble after reaching a career-high No. 8 last spring. He broke his right big toe when it got caught in a hotel bedspread Feb. 16.
   “But the good thing is most of my sliding I do on hard court I do with my left foot, so it
doesn’t … affect my game,” Melzer, a two-time Grand Slam men's doubles champion, told reporters.
   In a matchup of the last two Memphis doubles titlists, top seeds and defending champions Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada defeated unseeded Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the semifinals. Querrey was born in San Francisco and grew up in the Los Angeles area.

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