Pospisil riding high, but disappointed after losing to Raonic in Rogers Cup semi

Canada's Milos Raonic shakes hands with compatriot Vasek Pospisil following his semi-final win at...

Canada's Milos Raonic shakes hands with compatriot Vasek Pospisil following his semi-final win at the men's Rogers Cup tennis tournament match in Montreal, August 10, 2013. (REUTERS/Christinne Muschi)

BRIAN DALY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:24 AM ET

Vasek Pospisil said all the right things after losing to Milos Raonic in a Rogers Cup semifinal that few thought he would reach.

He said it was a great week. Said he's happy to finally crack the world top 50. Said he had to take positives from his three-set, tiebreak loss to the higher-ranked Canadian and friend.

Truth be told, Pospisil should be happy about beating two top 20 players for the first time ever and becoming the fist-pumping face of the greatest week for Canadians in the modern era of the Rogers Cup.

But you got the sense the forced smiles from the 23-year-old Vernon, B.C., native were just fatigue after an emotional week.

He really thought he had Raonic on the ropes, but wasn't able to finish him off.

Unforced errors on two key tiebreak points made all the difference.

Anyone who thinks Pospisil should take the 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4) loss as a moral victory had better convince the one who did the losing.

"Definitely a tough loss," said Pospisil, whose semifinal berth earns him a spot in the main draw at Cincinnati, a U.S. Open tuneup tournament.

"I wanted to win that one, for sure. I was really close. I made a few mistakes I haven't been making this week and wouldn't normally make."

Pospisil admitted he was atypically nervous after showing so much comfort in previous matches with the home crowd behind him.

The underdog said his jitters came not from the big stage or the all-Canadian matchup. Instead, they came from the fact he was playing his longtime friend.

"We grew up together," said Pospisil, who is six months older than Raonic. "We are both members of the Davis Cup team. So there was a lot more going on than if I had played another player."

He'll fly to Ohio Sunday and practice Monday in advance of his first match Tuesday. It will be a chance to amass more ATP points.

Not a lot of time to put his life-defining Rogers Cup week into perspective.

However, this rising athlete didn't flinch under the bright lights in Montreal and, armed with a likely No. 40 ranking, he has even more reason to expect to beat anyone he faces across the net.

"Before, I would win a match on pure adrenaline," Pospisil said. "This year I had good wins. I won three matches.

"I'm much more confident in my abilities and where my game is right now."

A career-high $128,960 prize, a 30-point surge to a career-high ATP ranking, and a chance at Davis Cup glory against Serbia next month.

Definitely worth a fist pump.


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