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Raonic Fires Up London Bid In Shanghai

Shanghai, China

Paire, Simon© Getty ImagesBenoit Paire won an all-French clash with Gilles Simon.

Milos Raonic made a good start to his Shanghai Rolex Masters bid on Tuesday evening, dismissing qualifier Michal Przysiezny 6-4, 6-4 to reach the second round. 

Raonic saw his chances of making up ground on the Top 8 in the Emirates ATP Rankings improve when ninth-placed Richard Gasquet lost in the first round to Vasek Pospisil.

"I played the important points well," said Raonic, who hit 16 aces and broke serve twice. "I was patient and tried to find my opportunities. A few times I missed them, but I kept plugging away and put it together when I needed to.”

The Canadian has fired up his bid to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the first time during the Asian swing, winning the Bangkok title (d. Berdych) and finishing runner-up last week in Tokyo (l. to del Potro). He is up to 10th in the Emirates ATP Race To London this week.

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"I've had two great weeks leading into this one and forced myself and pushed myself to do well this week,” said Raonic. “It's such an important week, being a [ATP World Tour] Masters 1000, and every point matters on the road to London.”

Benoit Paire won an all-French first-round clash against No. 13 seed Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-3. World No. 27 Paire converted three of his four break points and hit 12 aces to improve to a 3-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Simon. 

The 24-year-old Paire improved to a 29-26 match record on the season. He is through to the second round in Shanghai for the second year in a row, having lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last year.

Tommy Robredo beat fellow Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-4, 6-1 in 56 minutes to claim his 36th win of the season. He goes on to face Fabio Fognini, who battled past Italian countryman Paolo Lorenzi 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in two hours and 33 minutes. 

In a battle between two of the ATP World Tour’s rising stars, Kei Nishikori defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-4 in 82 minutes. The Japanese No. 1 claimed his 32nd win of the season as he converted three of his seven break points and won 70 per cent of his service points. He goes on to face Jurgen Melzer or Ivan Dodig.

Nicolas Almagro, the No. 15 seed from Spain, fired 16 aces and dropped just nine points on serve as he defeated qualifier Go Soeda 7-6(5), 6-2 in 74 minutes. He earned a clash with Jeremy Chardy, who defeated Bernard Tomic 7-5, 6-2.

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