Sunday, October 7, 2012

Raonic upset Murray in Japan Open semifinal, faces Nishikori next

Raonic upset Murray in Japan Open semifinal, faces Nishikori next

Milos Raonic beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-7 7-6 to reach the final of the Japan Open 2012 tennis tournament in Tokyo.

Raonic will play Kei Nishikori, who defeated Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-2.

“It’s an incredible feeling because I’m in a final in my home country,” Nishikori told “I didn’t think I would be in the final, so I’m very happy. I haven’t won a tournament in four years so hopefully I can win tomorrow.”

The Canadian broke Murray in the opening game and broke again to claim the set 6-3.

In the second set, the Scott saved two break points to hold serve for 1-1.

There were no breaks of serve in the second set and went to a tiebreak, which Murray won 7-5.

In the decider, Murray held to go up 5-4 and then had two match points on Raonic's served in the 10th game, but could not capitalize as the Canadian held to send it to another tiebreak.

Raonic took control in the tiebreak and sealed the match.

“Here, from the first match, I’ve been more aggressive, have come in as much as I can when I’ve created the opportunities and play under my terms more so than just waiting around,” said Raonic. “A big thing I changed coming into this week, is that I’m returning a lot closer. That took time. A big part of it is mental, preparing [myself] for that and having that instinct and drive to go after it when [I] have the opportunities to get ahead in the points.”

"Live and die by the serve. I'm not afraid to go for it on my second serve. I know what I am capable of," Raonic said.

"The first set was poor from my side," Murray said. "I played better in the second and third sets, but it was a disappointment to not close out the match. It came down to one or two points in the end."

“From my side, I would have liked to have started the match better. That would have helped me,” Murray said. “But he played well behind his serve, especially in the first couple of sets. That made it tough for me.”

(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)