• Nadal battles Raonic in Japan Open second round

    10/5/11 3:02 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Nadal battles Raonic in Japan Open second round After a one-day break, Rafael Nadal will be back on the court in Tokyo for Thursday action. Standing in his way of a spot in the quarterfinals is Milos Raonic.

    The second career meeting between Rafael Nadal and Milos Raonic on Thursday will come just as the first did--in the second round of the Tokyo Open. They faced each other at the same stage last year and Nadal cruised 6-4, 6-4.

    Twelve months later, Raonic is clearly a completely different player. The 20-year-old Canadian exploded onto the scene early in 2011 and he is up to No. 30 in the world. A progress-crippling injury at Wimbledon, however, has left Raonic with just two matches under his belt since late June. He lost a Davis Cup singles rubber to Israel's Amir Weintraub but survived Yuichi Sugita 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(1) in round one on Tuesday.

    Nadal suffered another crushing defeat to Novak Djokovic in the U.S. Open final, but he has bounced back nicely. The second-ranked Spaniard dominated France with a pair of convincing Davis Cup singles wins and he eased past Go Soeda 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday. Nadal is now 62-11 for the season, which includes titles in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, and at the French Open.

    Raonic always has a chance on hard courts because he can reduce matches to just a few key points thanks to his massive serve. It is apparent, though, that the underdog is still rusty and his win over Sugita in a third-set tiebreaker is far from inspiring. Count on Nadal getting the job done in straight sets.

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This match is 2nd on tomorrow.

Vamos Rafa!

nadline , 10/5/11 5:43 PM

Good luck for tomorrow Rafa.

schatz , 10/5/11 7:42 PM

I checked the listings on the tennis channel and they are televising the first two quarterfinals tomorrow. I believe that Rafa is playing second, so please let that mean that I will finally get to see him. I would really like to see this one against Raonic.

Good luck, Rafa!

Nativenewyorker , 10/5/11 9:19 PM

this is R2, not quarters

RickyDimon , 10/5/11 9:36 PM

There will be a livestream on the ATP website from tomorrow. Ferrer/Ebden followed by Nadal/Raonic.

nadline , 10/5/11 9:51 PM

All I know is that the tennis channel will be televising matches tomorrow. The listing says quarterfinals, so now I am confused.

If for some reason I can't watch it on the tennis channel, then thanks to nadline for the info about livestream on the ATP website.

Much appreciated! :)

Nativenewyorker , 10/5/11 10:14 PM


Tennis Channel is having QF on Thursday night but remember that's Friday in Japan.

numero , 10/5/11 11:39 PM


Oh, of course! I am a day behind.

Thanks for the reminder. This time difference drives me crazy!

Nativenewyorker , 10/6/11 2:14 AM eid=25

.............Uncle Toni (another one of sienna's love interests, next to Rafa of course) has spoken...........all is well in Rafaland, keep the faith!

rafaisthebest , 10/6/11 7:00 AM

If there are people in the states, they are showing Rafa's 2r match with Raonic right now! I got a heads up on another forum that they were showing Ferrer's match on the tennisi channel and now Rafa is on!

YAY!! Now I can record it! So far they are on serve 2-1 Rafa.

Nativenewyorker , 10/6/11 7:41 AM

Rafa wins - 75 63

Vamos Rafa!

nadline , 10/6/11 8:56 AM

Yes congrats to Rafa, Raonic is a tricky opponent, so I'm happy that Rafa wins in straight sets. Vamos Rafa!

luckystar , 10/6/11 9:02 AM

I agree with Ricky, Milos was a bit rusty and did not perform well. It's great to have him back, though...I am glad to see Rafa playing well, serving well...his draw is pretty tough IMO and he can't afford to lose focus...that backhand also worked well...overall, solid performance by our dear Rafa...and I just love those vivid colors on him...:)

natashao , 10/6/11 9:03 AM

I think this is the best match I've seen Raonic play.

nadline , 10/6/11 9:23 AM

I thought that Rafa served extremely well. His stats were great -

1st set

1st serve points in = 77%

1st serve points won = 77%

2nd serve points won = 92%

2nd set

1st serve points in = 86%

1st serve points won = 75%

2nd serve points won = 75%

Well done, Rafa! He was never threatened on his serve. Raonic was banging aces all over the place, but he played a loose game at 6-5 Rafa in the first set. He double faulted to give Rafa a break point for the set and he converted.

In the second set, I thought that Raonic was starting to get tired. Rafa also picked it up with his groundstrokes, being very aggressive and pounding the ball. I thought it was only a matter of time before he broke Raonic. He did it to make it 4-2 and it was really over at that point.

It's always nice to see Rafa get a victory over a big serving opponent.

This was a nice bonus to see Rafa live.


Nativenewyorker , 10/6/11 9:30 AM

Match stats:

1st serve % - 77%

1st serve points won - 77%

2nd serve points won - 92%

Raonic had no break points on Rafa's serve and Rafa had 2 on his serve both of which he converted.

Vamos Rafa!

nadline , 10/6/11 9:54 AM


Those are Rafa's match stats.

nadline , 10/6/11 9:56 AM

that's great that you could tape the match

thank you for all the details as I didn't get to watch it
what did you mean by your last line - 21st?

chlorostoma , 10/6/11 3:03 PM

match report - los_Raonic

RickyDimon , 10/6/11 5:15 PM


Sorry, that was a typo! I messed up with typing 1st and 2nd sets.

Rafa looked very good. Backhand could be sharper, but his serving was great, no second set serving blues and groundstrokes were accurate and powerful. I like the way he is looking now.

If there are others who can't see it, then maybe I will post while the match is on. The tennis channel will be televising the first two quarterfinals in the evening out here on the west coast of the U.S.

Nativenewyorker , 10/6/11 9:16 PM


Ricky was kind enough to provide the link for the match report. It was comprehensive and included a few things I forgot, which is why I don't write match reports! :)

Nativenewyorker , 10/6/11 9:20 PM

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