• Raonic downs Davydenko at Mutua Madrid Open

    5/6/13 6:34 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Raonic downs Davydenko at Mutua Madrid Open Milos Raonic takes care of Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets on Monday in Madrid. Raonic is through to a second-round showdown with Fernando Verdasco.

    Milos Raonic was not at his best on Monday, but he had enough to get past Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 7-6(5) in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open. Raonic advanced in one hour and 38 minutes despite serving at a horrendous 44 percent while striking only six aces compared to four double-faults.

    Davydenko had a chances the entire way. His opponent served at 39 percent in the opening set and the 31-year-old Russian saw two break-point opportunities for what would have been an early lead. Davydenko could not convert, however, and he finally cracked with the pressure on at 5-6.

    Both players held throughout the second, with Raonic doing a much better job taking care of his second-serve points and being required to save no break points. The 14th-ranked Canadian had one break chance of his own only to see it go by the wayside. The result was a tiebreaker, in which Raonic got one mini-break thanks to a Davydenko double-fault. The world No. 41 played his way into several baseline rallies against the Raonic serve, but he never capitalized and eventually lost the 'breaker--and with it the match--seven points to five.

    Davydenko recorded three aces and one double-fault while serving at an impressive 77 percent. Untimely baseline errors proved to be his undoing against Raonic, who advances to face Fernando Verdasco on Tuesday.

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