Milos Raonic wins opening round in Rotterdam

Milos Raonic (Carine06, Wikimedia Commons)

Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ontario delivered an impressive minor upset on Monday as he defeated Jesper de Jong of the Netherlands in the first round of the ATP Rotterdam event. Raonic, who is ranked 309th in the world, but reached the Rotterdam main draw because of his protected ranking, defeated de Jong, the 141st ranked player in the world, 7-6, 6-4. Raonic beat De Jong 7-5 in the first set tiebreak.

A major reason for Raonic’s success was because of the power of his serve. Raonic had 20 aces, while De Jong had seven. Raonic will next play the eighth seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan in the second round. Raonic won their only prior meeting, That came in the second round of St. Petersburg in 2020, which Raonic won 6-3, 6-2.

Raonic is one of three Canadians left in significant tennis tournaments around the world. Also in Rotterdam, Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal, Quebec is in the second round after defeating Maxime Cressy of the United States 7-6, 7-6. Meanwhile in Doha, Leylah Annie Fernandez is in the third round after defeating Paula Badosa of Spain 0-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the second round.

Next up for Auger-Aliassime is the second seed Andrey Rublev of Russia. Rublev has won three of four meetings, but Auger-Aliassime’s only win came in the semifinals of Rotterdam in 2022, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. Fernandez’s next opponent is Qinwen Zheng of China, the fifth seed, and 2024 Australian Open finalist. Fernandez won their only prior meeting. That came in the second round of Monterrey, Mexico in 2022, which Fernandez won 6-1, 4-6, 7-6.


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