Raonic boosts London hopes by taking Thai title

(Reuters) – Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic boosted his hopes of qualifying for the end-of-season ATP World Tour finals in London by downing Czech Tomas Berdych 7-6(4) 6-3 to win the Thailand Open yesterday.

The tall 22-year-old gave a lesson in serving as he delivered 18 aces on the indoor hard court in Bangkok to win the $567,530 title, his second of the year after he retained his San Jose crown in February. Raonic began the week 11th in the race to London with only the top eight guaranteed a spot but his fifth career victory should move him up the congested leaderboard when the list is updated today ahead of the November event.

A tight first set between the powerful duo inevitably went to a tiebreak after Raonic was able to save the only break point.

The Montenegro-born third seed prevailed 7-4 before grabbing an early break in the second with his only opportunity of the match.

Raonic then comfortably served out the set with the top seed Berdych unable to put any pressure on his opponent’s serve.

The loss leaves Berdych, fifth in the race to London, as the only player in the top 10 not to have won a title this season.

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