Lethal serve guides Raonic to first-round U.S. Open win

Milos Raonic of Canada hits a return to Taro Daniel of Japan during their match at the 2014 U.S....

Milos Raonic of Canada hits a return to Taro Daniel of Japan during their match at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York on August 25, 2014. (REUTERS/Adam Hunger)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:53 PM ET

Milos Raonic's quest for the U.S. Open title got off to a promising start Monday as the hard-serving Canadian took down Japan's Taro Daniel in straight sets.

Raonic, ranked sixth on the ATP Tour and seeded fifth in New York, won four of nine break points en route to a 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (1) victory.

Known for his bullet serve, Raonic put up a total of 20 aces, including one clocked at 138 mph. Daniel, meanwhile, managed only a single ace against the 23-year-old from Thornhill, Ont.

"I've been playing my best tennis this year. I put a lot of focus into this event. I'm glad to be here and start playing," Raonic told reporters after the 90-minute first-round match.

"I'm hoping to stay for as long as possible."

Next up for Raonic is Germany's Peter Gojowczyk, who defeated countryman Benjamin Becker in straight sets. The second-round match goes Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Canadian Vasek Pospisil disappointed in an opening-round match versus Simone Bolelli, the 85th-ranked player on the Tour.

Pospisil, who had 51 unforced errors over the five-set match, could not tame the Italian, losing 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

After the upset, Pospisil revealed a shoulder injury to reporters.

"I've not been serving much, I lost my rhythm," the Vernon, B.C. native said. "I still have pain in my shoulder and that's never a good thing. I couldn't serve like I usually do, that seemed like a big part of the match today."

Pospisil and American doubles partner Jack Sock are scheduled to face off against Finnish duo Henri Kontinen and Jarkko Nieminen on Wednesday.

Canada's top women's singles player, the struggling Eugenie Bouchard, meets Belarusian Olga Govortsova early Tuesday. Bouchard, seeded seventh at the Open, has won only one match since her historic run to the Wimbledon final in early July.

Other Canadians in action Monday included Aleksandra Wozniak, who lost 6-2, 6-1 to Japan's Kurumi Nara, and Sharon Fichman, who was defeated 6-1, 6-0 by fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland. Seventeen-year-old Francoise Abanda of Montreal, participating in her first senior Grand Slam event, lost 6-3, 7-5 to Sabine Lisicki of Germany.

Niagara Falls, Ont., native Frank Dancevic begins his U.S. Open tournament Tuesday.

Men's doubles legend Daniel Nestor, who hails from Toronto, will also play Tuesday, teaming up with Serb Nenad Zimonjic in a meeting with German pair Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins.


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