Raonic serves up feast of power to retain San Jose crown
San Jose: Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic became the first two-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season when he beat unseeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 7-6, 6-2 in Sunday`s final to repeat as champion of the San Jose Open.
The third-seeded Raonic, who won the Chennai Open in the opening week of the 2012 season, blasted 61 aces in the tournament and was only broken once on his way to the title, holding serve in 41 of 42 games.
"I think I served pretty flawlessly throughout the week," the 21-year-old Raonic told reporters. "I feel like I`m a much better tennis player than I was last year."
Raonic claimed the first 7-3 in a tie-breaker after all 12 games went with serve to force the decider.
The world number 32 cashed in both his break point chances in the second set to finish off a 79-minute victory in his first career clash against Istomin.
Istomin, hoping to become the first player to win his maiden ATP crown this year, had no answer for Raonic`s booming serve in his second tour final following a runner-up showing in New Haven in 2010.
"I won just four points on his serve, which makes it very difficult to win the match, said Istomin, ranked 61st. "I knew he was a great server and a good player."
Raonic, who fired 20 aces in beating American Ryan Harrison by the same 7-6, 6-2 scoreline in the semi-finals, won 90 percent of his first service points and 94 percent on second serve against Istomin and did not face a break point in the match.
Istomin advanced to the final by ousting fifth-seeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 in the semi-finals.