Milos Raonic (Thornhill, ON) defeated World no. 9 Fernando Verdasco of Spain for the second time in four days on Wednesday in the opening round of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, an ATP World Tour 500 event currently underway in Memphis, Tennessee.
After defeating Verdasco in two tiebreak sets on Sunday to capture his maiden ATP title at the SAP Open in San Jose, California, Raonic defeated the Spaniard again, posting a hard fought 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5) victory to reach the Round of 16. After both players needed just one break each to split the first two sets, the final frame went the distance. Raonic held the early lead in the tiebreak, but Verdasco came back to level it at 5-5. The 20-yearold Canadian won the next two points to book his spot in the next round and keep his impressive winning streak alive. Raonic now has 9-1 tiebreak record in 2011.
On Thursday, Raonic will play for a spot in the quarter-finals when he goes up against world no. 65 and former world no. 8 Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic.
Marino advances to second WTA quarter-final in Memphis, Fichman falls in Bogota
For the second time in her young career, Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) has reached the quarter-finals of a WTA event.
Marino, who is also in Memphis, Tennessee at the Cellular South Cup, accomplished the feat thanks to a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory over world no. 93 Sorana Cirstea of Romania. Cirstea is an experienced player who was ranked no. 23 on the WTA rankings less than two years ago on the strength of a quarter-final appearance at Roland- Garros. Seeded sixth, Marino finds herself among the top eight seeds at a WTA tournament for the first time which exemplifies how much she has improved considering last year in Memphis she lost in the qualifying rounds. In Thursday’s quarter-finals, Marino will take on American Coco Vandeweghe for a chance to play in her maiden WTA semifinal. Her best showing at a WTA event prior to this week came at last year’s Bell Challenge in Quebec City where she defeated Marion Bartoli to reach the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Sharon Fichman (Toronto, ON) tried to imitate her compatriot at the Copa BBVA Colsanitas in Bogota, Colombia, but came up just short in her quarter-final bid at the WTA clay court event. She fell 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 to Colombia’s Catalina Castano after holding several match points at 5-4 in the second set. Fichman successfully qualified for the main draw and won her opening round match over Spanish wildcard Leticia Costas-Moreira.