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Raonic Survives Mahut Challenge In Washington

Third seed Milos Raonic got his American hard-court campaign off to a flying start at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., winning his opening match 7-6(2), 7-6(6) over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.

“There are a lot of things I need to be happy with,” said Raonic. “I lost a bit of sharpness and discipline in the second set, but I’m glad I was able to get through and keep going in this tournament. It’s good to be back, especially with that memory of having won here [in 2014].”

Milos Raonic successfully begins his quest for a second title at the Citi Open.
Both men traded holds throughout the first set, but the Canadian raced through the tie-break to take the early advantage. Raonic saved a set point on his serve at 4-5 in the second set to eventually force a truly wild tie-break, in which the third seed saved another set point at 6/7 before converting on his fourth match point at 9/8 to advance in one hour and 56 minutes.

Next up for Raonic in the third round is Marcos Baghdatis, who defeated 16th seed Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-1. Raonic leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head with Baghdatis 2-1, but they haven’t played in five years.

#NextGenATP American Tommy Paul scored the biggest win of his young career by ousting seventh seed Lucas Pouille 7-6(6), 6-3. The 20 year old won 80 per cent of his first-serve points to take the match in 80 minutes. The win gives Paul his first victory over a player inside the Top 20 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.

“I just feel really good and have been working really hard. It's paying off right now, so hopefully I can keep it going,” said Paul. “I was struggling a lot last year, but my coach and everyone on my team was just telling me to keep working harder and it will come. I've just been trying to trust in the process and have been working harder every day.”

Paul was ranked No. 400 two months ago, but has since moved up to No. 225 on the back of impressive results including his first ATP World Tour quarter-final this past week at the BB&T Atlanta Open. He is projected to jump back inside the Top 200 of the Emirates ATP Rankings when the newest standings are released.

Awaiting him in the next round is 11th seed Gilles Muller, who needed just 46 minutes to dispatch Dmitry Tursunov 6-1, 6-2. The 34 year old is at a career-high No. 21 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Another #NextGen ATP American, Jared Donaldson, cruised into the third round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over lucky loser Marc Polmans of Australia. Polmans snuck into the draw due to the withdrawal of John Isner. Donaldson will have an all-American clash in his next match against eighth seed Jack Sock.

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/raonic-dimitrov-zverev-monfils-washington-2017-wednesday

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