Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadians Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil Advance to Second Round at Cincinnati

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadians Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil Advance to Second Round at Cincinnati

Article excerpt

Raonic, Pospisil advance at Cincinnati

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MASON, Ohio - Fresh off their inspired performances at the Rogers Cup, Canadians Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil are into the second round of the Western & Southern Open.

Raonic, who dropped Sunday's final in Montreal to Rafael Nadal, defeated Jack Sock 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday night to advance at the tournament just outside Cincinnati.

"Mentally I felt good, it was a bit about getting used to the conditions and the environment," Raonic said of his slow start against the American. "I stuck through it and in the second set I stayed positive and started to play a bit more aggressive.

The 12th seed from Thornhill, Ont., Raonic lost to Sock in Memphis in February after winning in San Jose the previous week for the third year running.

Raonic, now ranked a career-high 10th on the ATP Tour after beating Pospisil in the Rogers Cup semifinals, disposed of Sock in just under two hours. He will meet Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic in the next round.

"Tipsarevic will be a tough opponent," said Raonic. "I've got to keep doing what I've been doing, clean up my service games a bit and get better at closing it out."

Pospisil, now also ranked a career-best at No. 40, advanced when France's Gilles Simon retired with an injury.

Simon was trailing 6-3, 1-1 when he ended the match.

"It was a strange match," Pospisil said. "I started out well but I noticed that something was going on with him, I think it might have been the hip.

"It was difficult to play from that point. It was fortunate for me and unfortunate for him."

The Vernon, B.C., native needed just 36 minutes to sweep the opening set against Simon, who lost his fifth match in a row and hasn't won since mid-June.

Pospisil faces Belgium's David Goffin in the next round.

"The match will be tough and I don't see a clear favourite," Pospisil said. "He's a dangerous player, very talented, and has beaten some top players. We'll have to see."

Meanwhile, defending men's champion and fifth-seeded Roger Federer advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 7-6 (7) win over 29th-ranked Philipp Kohlschreiber.

"It was just really important to play somewhat of a clean match," said Federer, who already has won a record five W&S championships and improved to 7-0 in his career against Kohlschreiber. "Straight sets is always a good match. It's a good win for me."

John Isner defeated Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-4, and Grigor Dimitrov defeated Brian Baker 6-3, 6-2. Third-seeded David Ferrer edged Ryan Harrison 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-4.

On the women's side, Maria Sharapova's return to WTA tournament play after more than a month away was short-lived following an upset loss to 17th-ranked American Sloane Stephens 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3.

In a match that lasted two hours 22 minutes, Stephens overcame double faults on two match points to pick up her first victory over Sharapova in four meetings. …

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