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Raonic, Pospisil Book All-Canadian Final In Washington

Washington, U.S.A.

Raonic© Getty ImagesMilos Raonic is through to his first final of the season.

Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil entered the history books on Saturday after setting the first all-Canadian ATP World Tour final, at the Citi Open in Washington D.C. The meeting will also mark the second ATP World Tour final between two players born in the 1990s, one day after David Goffin, 23, and Dominic Thiem, 20, contested the Kitzbuehel final.

The second-seeded Raonic fired 15 aces and won 91 per cent of his first service points in a 6-4, 7-5 triumph over Donald Young. The 23 year old broke his American opponent at the end of each set to prevail in 75 minutes. Raonic is yet to drop a set at this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament.

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Raonic is bidding to win his sixth ATP World Tour title and his first of the season. He is through to his first final since finishing runner-up to Juan Martin del Potro in Tokyo in October 2013.

"It was good," said Raonic. "I did the most important things. I took care of my serve. I thought he played really well and I just put that pressure on him in the final games of the set. It paid off. Obviously I want more. I think I have a much better understanding of what I need to bring out of myself, especially earlier in tournaments so I can do consistently well at each tournament and give myself the opportunity to get into the weekend stages."

The World No. 7 has a 28-10 match record on the season and is playing his first tournament since becoming the first Canadian in the Open Era to reach the semi-finals of a major championship at Wimbledon (l. to Federer). He was also a semi-finalist at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament in Rome (l. to Djokovic).

Pospisil, the 13th seed, pulled double duty to advance to his first ATP World Tour final with a close 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5 victory over sixth seed Richard Gasquet.

The 6'4" Vernon native struck 10 aces and won 68 per cent of his service points, compared to 67 per cent for Gasquet, to remain undefeated against the Frenchman in two FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings. The 24 year old, who toppled top seed Tomas Berdych in the third round, trailed 0-3 in the third set before breaking his opponent twice to close out the battle in two hours and 28 minutes.

"I stuck with it. I felt like I was forcing my game [in the first set] and made adjustments," said Pospisil. "I hung in there in the third and waited for an opportunity. I was fortunate to get an opportunity and I seized it."

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Pospisil, ranked No. 36 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, has now reached the quarter-finals at four of his last five tournaments, and teamed with Jack Sock to take the 2014 Wimbledon doubles crown last month.

"Personally, this is a first final for me so that's great. It's more special that I am playing a Davis Cup teammate and a fellow Canadian," Pospisil added. "This is great for tennis in Canada. I'll try to do my best."

In their only previous meeting, Raonic edged Pospisil in a third-set tie-break 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(4) to reach last year's Rogers Cup final.

Earlier on Saturday, Pospisil closed out a 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4 win over Santiago Giraldo to secure his semi-final berth. Their quarter-final was suspended due to rain on Friday night, as the third set was just under way. Pospisil returned on Saturday to save two break points in the seventh game before breaking Giraldo in the 10th game to claim victory.

Doubles Final Set
Sam Groth and Leander Paes ended the run of wild cards Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in the Citi Open semi-finals on Saturday. The Australian-Indian tandem will face Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Romania's Horia Tecau, who dismissed qualifiers Jonathan Erlich and Rajeev Ram 6-4, 6-2. Rojer and Tecau are chasing their fifth team title, while Groth is bidding for his second doubles trophy of the season (also Bogota w/ Guccione).

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