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Tennis News • Raonic’s London Hopes All Over With Shanghai Loss • Tsitsipas Beats Monfils

Milos Raonic of Canada in action against Novak Djokovic of Serbia in their match in the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, USA, 17 August 2018.  EPA-EFE/TANNEN MAURY

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

At No. 13 in the race to the Nitto ATP Finals and more than 1,000 points away from even putting himself in position for an alternate spot, Milos Raonic probably had to win either the Shanghai Masters or the Paris Masters–or both–to be in the realistic London discussion. Those two chances have dwindled to one, as Raonic lost to his Shanghai opener 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 to Mackenzie McDonald on Monday.

 

McDonald managed to break serve three times even though Raonic struck 24 aces.

 

The 23-year-old American is joined in the second round by compatriot Bradley Klahn, who pulled off an upset of his own by beating Nick Kyrgios 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Sam Querrey added to the USA charge on Monday, defeating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4.

 

Perhaps the most intriguing matchup came in the form of Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Gael Monfils. It did not disappoint, as Tsitsipas survived a competitive 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4 contest after two hours and 21 minutes of play. Both men broke serve three times and Tsitsipas finished with only four more total points than Monfils (107 to 103).

 

“It was a weird game, lots of service breaks (and) many long rallies in the match,” the 20-year-old Greek noted. “Gael has a rhythm that’s not very comfortable when you’re on the other side of the net. You never know what to expect. Sometimes the ball comes slower; sometimes the ball comes faster. So it confuses you. There are not many players that play this way.

 

“It was very, very hard, because he was serving pretty well,” the 20-year-old Greek said of Monfils, who fired 11 aces but also double-faulted five times. “My serve was alright. I managed to open the court well with my serve, take the forehands, and try to come to the net. But I managed to stay patient. I got broken when serving for the match in the third set. I remained calm and focused and then went back in the next game and broke him, which I believe is a big strength from my side. It shows good character.”

 

Next up for Tsitsipas is what should be another tough one against Karen Khachanov. The world No. 15 remains in distant London contention but is more likely headed for the NextGen ATP Finals in Milan.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @TennGrand.

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