Raonic cruises into U.S. Open third round, de­spite the heat

The Peterborough Examiner - - Voice of Business -

NEW YORK — Mi­los Raonic felt he stepped up in the sec­ond round of the U.S. Open — and the score line in­di­cates the Cana­dian did just that.

Af­ter an in­con­sis­tent per­for­mance in a four-set win over qual­i­fier Car­los Ber­locq to open the fi­nal Grand Slam of the year, the No. 25 seed downed France’s Gilles Si­mon 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, on a hot and hu­mid Wed­nes­day at Flush­ing Mead­ows.

“Over­all, I did things well and took care of my serve,” Raonic, of Thorn­hill, Ont., said. “I was a lot more dis­ci­plined with my­self. I wasn’t go­ing up and down in the match like I did my pre­vi­ous one. Over­all, I’m happy.”

Raonic had 17 aces to Si­mon’s none and broke his op­po­nent on three of six chances.

The hard-serv­ing Cana­dian im­proved to 5-1 against Si­mon, with vic­to­ries in all three of their hard court matches.

“He does a very good job of sort of throw­ing you out of the rhythm, where he plays very slow, sort of gets you to slow down your in­ten­tions and will sort of sur­prise you by tak­ing the ball early,” Raonic said.

“So I was happy that I was able to, in those im­por­tant mo­ments, just, you know, be pa­tient and sort of trust my legs that I would be able to hold on, just to keep that pres­sure on him.”

With tem­per­a­tures reach­ing close to 35 C, Raonic was happy to have a rel­a­tively quick match (two hours six min­utes).

“It’s nice to get by, and in an ef­fi­cient man­ner to­day,” Raonic said.

“I don’t re­ally re­gard the heat as a dis­ad­van­tage or ad­van­tage. I think both guys have to deal with it.”

Raonic will next face 2016 U.S. Open win­ner Stan Wawrinka of Switzer­land. Wawrinka, who missed the last year’s U.S. Open, is on a nine-match win­ning streak at Flush­ing Mead­ows.

Raonic, who also was out for the 2017 tour­na­ment, has beaten Wawrinka just once in five matches over his ca­reer.

“It’s go­ing to be good,” said Raonic, who is 15-4 since the start of the grass court sea­son. “I watched him play two matches last week . ... He’s play­ing well again.”

There are plenty of sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the two. Raonic and Wawrinka both have a ca­reer­high rank­ing of No. 3 and live in Monte Carlo. They’re both seek­ing their first hard court ti­tle since 2016 and are coached by for­mer world No. 2 play­ers — Raonic by Go­ran Ivani­se­vic and Wawrinka by Mag­nus Norman.

Cana­di­ans De­nis Shapo­valov and Vasek Pospisil played sec­ond-round matches later on Wed­nes­day.

SETH WENIG THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Canada’s Mi­los Raonic cel­e­brates a point dur­ing his sec­ond-round match against Gilles Si­mon of France at the U.S. Open on Wed­nes­day.

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