RAKUTEN OPEN 2013
Raonic, Almagro Strong On Serve Again; Nishikori In Late Action
by ATP Staff|
Already No. 1 on the ATP World Tour in first serve points won (81 per cent) and in service games won (90 per cent) this season, Raonic improved his ace tally to 737 by knocking out Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-3 in 77 minutes.
By recording his 39th match win of the year, Raonic continues to improve his chances of battling into the Top 8 of the Emirates ATP Race To London and qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Last week’s Thailand Open titlist is currently in 12th position.
Raonic goes on to face Lukas Lacko, a lucky loser in place of Michael Llodra, who dominated with his forehand in a 7-5, 6-4 victory over qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin in 88 minutes. Lacko, 25, is 1-7 lifetime in quarter-final matches.
Sixth seed Nicolas Almagro once again produced a strong service performance.
Following on from his victory over qualifier Benjamin Becker in the first round, Almagro won 21 of his 22 first serve points – lost six service points overall – and hit 10 aces to defeat Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 6-2 in 64 minutes. It was the pair’s second FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting of the year (also Acapulco).
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“I played very well today and I am happy to have the win," said Almagro. "I think I served very well and am pleased to be through to the next round."
The 28-year-old Almagro is in 14th position in the Emirates ATP Race to London standings for the eight-player season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November.
Almagro now plays fourth seed and defending champion Kei Nishikori.
Nishikori reached his fourth ATP World Tour quarter-final (or better) this season after he defeated Feliciano Lopez 7-6(4), 6-0 in 70 minutes.
Finals Contenders Beaten In Quarter-Finals
Two teams vying for a spot at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, from 4-11 November in London, lost in the Tokyo quarter-finals.
Earlier in the day, Austrian team Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer won a high-quality doubles encounter against third seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 6-4, 3-6, 10-8 in 88 minutes. Wimbledon finalists Dodig and Melo are in sixth place for a spot in the English capital.