|Milos Raonic serves to Ivo Karlovic during their men's singles match at the Thailand Open in Bangkok, Thailand, Sept. 27, 2012. (PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP)
Milos Raonic made his return to action a successful one Thursday, despite feeling a little rusty.
Raonic, playing for the first time since representing Canada in a Davis Cup tie with South Africa two weeks ago, beat hard-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (3), 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Thailand Open.
Even though he got the straight-set win, Raonic admitted to being a little out of sorts during the second-round match against Karlovic, which was his first in the tourney. He managed just one break against the 6-foot-10 Karlovic but it was enough for him to move on.
“I think I’m just a little bit out of rhythm,” Raonic said. “I find the court a little different from the practice court and I didn’t have a chance to get on this one really. The next match is gonna be very different from today. If I keep my focus and intensity like today, I think I have my opportunity and feel that it will be OK.”
The 21-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., the third seed in the ATP 250 event and No. 14 in the world, will take on 13th-ranked Jarkko Nieminen in the quarters. It will be the first time the two have met on the court.