Raonic too strong for Tomic in Istanbul
Milos Raonic proved too tough for a gallant Bernard Tomic at the Istanbul Open, beating the Aussie in two tiebreaks in their quarterfinal on Friday.
Bernard Tomic’s unlikely claycourt renaissance in Istanbul has come to an end at the hands of Canadian world No.6 Milos Raonic.
Tournament top seed Raonic beat the gritty Australian 7-6(4) 7-6(6) in one hour and 50 minutes.
Tomic though, who has struggled for much of 2017, delivered what could only be described as an encouraging performance.
Overpowered by Raonic, who banged down 25 aces to five in the two sets, the Australian relied on his court craft to frustrate the Canadian, who at times looked sluggish in his movement and made plenty of unforced errors, most notably off the forehand wing.
Tomic pushed Raonic in the first set but never got a look at a break point and when Raonic got the mini-break in the opening set tiebreak off a wild Tomic forehand he never looked back.
The 24-year-old Aussie wouldn’t go away though and had a chance to break Raonic at 4-4 in the second set only to commit an unforced error on his only chance.
Tomic had chances in a bizarre breaker too. In a match where the serve was king, the first six points of the deciding tiebreak went against the server before Raonic held his nerve to close out the match.
It was a win that left the Canadian relieved as he looks to claim his ninth career title, first of 2017 and first ever on clay.
“I’m happy to have been able to win this evening and to get a win over a quality player in Bernard,” Raonic said.
“A few aces there in the tiebreak made my life a bit easier and hopefully now I can continue fighting in this tournament.”
Raonic will now play Serbian fifth seed Viktor Troicki who advanced past countryman Laslo Djere, who retired in the second set of their match.
The earlier quarterfinals in the bottom half of the draw were incredibly lopsided with second-seeded Croat Marin Cilic smashing Belgium’s Steve Darcis 6-1 6-1 in 45 minutes.
Cilic will play Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in the semis after the third seed also wasted little time in getting past Serbian Dusan Lajovic 7-5 6-2.