|Milos Raonic of Canada watches his return hit to Benjamin Becker of Germany during their Memphis Open men's singles match in Memphis, Tennessee Feb. 25, 2012. (REUTERS/Nikki Boertman)
MEMPHIS, TENN. - Canada's Milos Raonic and Austria's Jurgen Melzer advanced to the final of the $1.155 million Regions Morgan Keegan Championship on Saturday.
Raonic, seeded fourth, made quick work of unseeded Benjamin Becker, defeating the German 6-4, 6-4 on the indoor hardcourts at The Racquet Club of Memphis. He launched 14 aces and offered no break chances as he got off the court in a quick one hour, 15 minutes.
A finalist here last year, the 21-year-old Raonic has already won two ATP World Tour events this season (Chennai and San Jose), and has compiled a 15-1 match record.
Becker, 30, appeared in his first ATP World Tour semifinal since October 2010. An elbow injury last season sidelined him for six months.
Melzer moved on by knocking off third-seeded Czech Radek Stepanek. The 30- year-old southpaw fired eight aces, including five in the decisive third set, as he bested Stepanek 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in just over two hours.
It was the second win over a seeded opponent in as many days for Melzer, who had also defeated top-seeded American John Isner in Friday's quarterfinals. He entered the tournament unseeded.
Stepanek, a 33-year-old righty, was the runner-up at Memphis in 2009. He had defeated 2010 champion Sam Querrey of the United States in another Friday quarterfinal.
Sunday's final will be the first career meeting between Melzer and Raonic.
The 2012 Memphis champ will pocket $277,915.