RAKUTEN OPEN 2013
Raonic, Dodig Both Confident Ahead Of Tokyo SF Clash
by ATP Staff|
Milos Raonic will need to snap a two-match losing streak against Ivan Dodig on Saturday if he is to reach his fourth ATP World Tour final of the season at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.
Raonic, who lifted his fifth trophy at the Thailand Open in Bangkok last week, is battling to make up ground on the Top 8 in the Emirates ATP Race To London in order to secure a spot at the prestigious Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November. He is currently in 12th position.
Third seed and last year’s runner-up Raonic performed with great discipline against a fellow big-hitter, lucky loser Lukas Lacko, on Friday. His 6-3, 6-3 win, which included 11 aces and lasted 63 minutes, gave the Canadian a spot in his fifth semi-final of a career-best season.
Raonic hit 1,002 aces in 62 matches last year. So far in 2013, he has struck 748 aces in 57 matches.
Watch Raonic Interview
Dodig has beaten Raonic in their two FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings at the 2011 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and also en route to this year’s Aegon International final at Eastbourne.
“I have a good record against Milos, so I will be hoping to just keep playing my game and give my best,” said Dodig.
The Croatian recorded his 30th match win of the year with a 6-2, 7-6(3) victory over Jarkko Nieminen, who is on track to finish in the Top 50 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the ninth time.
The 28-year-old Dodig saved six of eight break points and hit 10 aces during the 91-minute win at the Ariake Coliseum, venue of the ATP World Tour 500 tournament and Tokyo 2020 Olympics Tennis Event. He beat World No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday.
“I am very happy with my performance today,” said Dodig. “Jarkko played very well and pushed me in the second set, but I was serving well and am pleased with my overall performance.”
Dodig has reached two other ATP World Tour semi-finals this season at the BMW Open in Munich (l. to Haas) and the Aegon International in Eastbourne (l. to Lopez).
Bopanna/Roger-Vasselin Reach Doubles Final
Fourth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin struck seven aces past Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot for a 6-4, 7-6(6) victory in 74 minutes and a place in their first final as a team. They will face Jamie Murray and John Peers or Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer. That match is scheduled for Saturday.