Saturday, March 17, 2012

Raonic, Melzer advance to Memphis final

Updated February 26, 2012 15:15:11

Red-hot Milos Raonic booked a finals showdown with Austrian Jurgen Melzer on Saturday at the Memphis Open.

Canada's Raonic, seeking a third ATP title of the year, subdued Germany's Benjamin Becker 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 15 minutes.

Melzer, meanwhile, defeated Czech third seed Radek Stepanek 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Women's action wrapped up as Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson notched her second career title - and her second in Memphis - with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over fourth-seeded Marina Erakovic of New Zealand.

Arvidsson shook off a sluggish start to polish off the victory in one hour and 24 minutes, lifting the title six years after she won her only previous WTA Tour trophy at the same venue in 2006.

"I think I'm going to buy a house here," said Arvidsson, who also reached the Memphis final in 2010.

"I just love to play here."

Raonic, 21, won his ninth straight match and says he feels he is improving with every contest.

"I feel like I'm not stalling at any point," he said.

"I'm constantly getting better throughout the matches. That's very encouraging. It's something fun to build off of."

Raonic, seeded fourth, fired 14 aces past Becker and never faced a break point as he stayed on course to add to the titles he has won this year in San Jose and Chennai.

The Canadian, who has won 19 successive sets since he fell to Lleyton Hewitt in the third round of the Australian Open, converted both of his break opportunities.

"I felt in the beginning, he started well, especially serving. But I was able to get close in the games, and that put a little pressure on him," Raonic said.

Melzer, who upset US top seed John Isner in the quarter-finals, is delighted to find himself in the final.

"I've played a great tournament thus far," he said.

"Reaching a final is something special. I haven't played a final since 2010."


Tags: tennis, sport, united-states

First posted February 26, 2012 15:15:11

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