Milos Raonic moves into fourth round at Indian Wells
By QMI Agency
|Milos Raonic returns a shot against Marin Cilic of Croatia during their match at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Cal., March 12, 2013. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)
Milos Raonic made his later-than-expected debut at the BNP Paribas Open a successful one Tuesday.
Playing his first match of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., after getting a first-round bye and winning his second-round match in a walkover, 17th-seeded Raonic upset 12th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to punch his ticket to the fourth round. Cilic posted a straight-set win over Raonic in their only other career meeting.
“I think I didn’t have any rhythm,” Raonic said. “I didn’t have a match really to pick up off. Especially against Marin, he plays really well. He plays very consistent. He changes up quickly, so he moves well for a tall guy. I was trying to force a little bit too much.”
Raonic, who had 16 aces against Cilic, had never made it to the third round in Indian Wells, losing in the third round the last two years.
The 22-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., will next play eighth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. Tsonga beat American Mardy Fish 7-6 (4), 7-6 (0) in the third round. It was Fish’s second ATP match since September, when he decided to take a break due to an accelerated heartbeat.
Raonic has a little history with Tsonga, losing 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 to the Frenchman in a record-setting match in the second round at the London Olympics.
“He’s been playing well consistently since the start of this year,” Raonic said of Tsonga. “I’ve just got to get out there and focus. We’re both going to be trying to get ahead in the points early. He’s very athletic. I just have to go out there and try to get ahead and play as much as I can on my terms.”