A blis­ter­ing serve

Cana­dian Mi­los Raonic edges vet­eran Tommy Haas in sec­ond round of Wim­ble­don

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

Mi­los Raonic rode his blis­ter­ing serve to the third round of Wim­ble­don on Wed­nes­day, fir­ing 29 aces to hold off vet­eran Tommy Haas 6-0, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4).

The sev­enth-seeded Cana­dian, who hit the third-fastest serve in tour­na­ment history at 233 km/h, ap­peared to be cruis­ing to vic­tory early on as Haas man­aged to win just six points in the 17minute first set. But the ex­pe­ri­enced Ger­man found his game in the third set, win­ning to ti-breaker to make Raonic work for the vic­tory.

Raonic said he was never con­cerned, de­spite Haas’s come­back.

“I was serv­ing pretty well,” said the player from Thorn­hill, Ont. “That’s al­ways go­ing to make my job a lit­tle bit eas­ier.”

Still, Raonic was im­pressed with the play of Haas, who at 37 be­came the old­est man on Mon­day to win a match at Wim­ble­don since Jimmy Con­nors in 1991.

“I think it’s in­cred­i­ble what he’s do­ing,” said Raonic. “It’s not just play­ing at 37 but play­ing at 37 and con­stantly com­ing back from many dif­fer­ent things. It’s a tes­ta­ment to the pas­sion he has for the game and the kind of work ethic and re­silience he has that makes big prob­lems not seem too big.”

Raonic, who made the semi­fi­nals at the All Eng­land Club last year, had surgery for an in­flamed nerve in his right foot and missed the French Open this spring, but he won two rounds in his re­turn to ac­tion at the re­cent Queen’s Club event in Lon­don.

He said he’s still work­ing his way back from the in­jury.

“I’m do­ing ev­ery­thing I need to to be able to keep play­ing bet­ter and bet­ter ev­ery sin­gle match,” he said, adding that he has some dis­com­fort in his foot but “noth­ing out of the or­di­nary.”

Raonic will meet Aus­tralia’s Nick Kyr­gios in a re­match of their 2014 quar­ter-fi­nal, a match Raonic won 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

“It’s go­ing to be a good match,” said Raonic.

“We haven’t played for a year now. I think a lot has changed on both ends. It’s some­thing I look for­ward to.”

Raonic said he re­mem­bers some missed op­por­tu­ni­ties a year ago but feels he has im­proved his game since then.

“I feel like I do a lot of things bet­ter,” he said. “I feel like I un­der­stand my­self bet­ter. I feel like I know how to con­trol sit­u­a­tions bet­ter, whether that be phys­i­cally or just from the men­tal side. So I have had a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence since then. I’m just try­ing to make sort of the most of ev­ery op­por­tu­nity.”

Raonic and Vasek Pospisil of Van­cou­ver are the lone Cana­di­ans left in the sin­gles draw af­ter Eu­ge­nie Bouchard made a firstround exit on Tues­day.

AP PHOTO

Mi­los Raonic of Canada re­turns a shot to Tommy Haas of Ger­many dur­ing their sin­gles match at the All Eng­land Lawn Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships at Wim­ble­don on Wed­nes­day.

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