Raonic Returns With Istanbul Win
Cilic, Tomic advance on Wednesday
Top seed Milos Raonic showed he's finally injury-free at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open on Wednesday, coming through a lengthy 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(3) tussle over an in-form Aljaz Bedene to reach the quarter-finals.
Bedene, who finished runner-up last week in Budapest (l. Pouille), traded service holds throughout the first set with Raonic before taking the final three points in the tie-break. The Canadian broke Bedene twice in the second set to level the match, but neither player earned a break point in the decider. In the third-set tie-break, Raonic ripped a forehand winner to earn a 2/0 mini-break and held the momentum to prevail in two hours and 36 minutes.
Raonic was playing his first match in nearly six weeks after being forced to withdraw from his third-round contest in Miami with a hamstring injury, the same ailment that caused him to pull out of the Delray Beach final and withdraw from three other tournaments.
He'll next play sixth seed Bernard Tomic, who booked his quarter-final spot with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Rogerio Dutra Silva. Raonic leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 4-0, with three victories coming in 2016.
"It's my second time being in a clay-court quarter-final," said Tomic. "It's a very good thing for me. This time last year I was ranked 17, 18 in the world and couldn't win a clay-court match. It's good progress for me. I'm happy that I'm playing well, especially in Istanbul."
Second seed Marin Cilic enjoyed a winning debut as he dismissed Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 6-2 in 70 minutes. The Croatian opened his clay-court swing with a quarter-final showing in Monte-Carlo two weeks ago (l. to Ramos-Vinolas) and is bidding to win his second title on the dirt this week, five years on from his Umag triumph.
“I’m feeling very comfortable now. A crucial thing of me was a good two weeks of practice on clay after Miami, so I worked hard on my movement and getting used to the clay,” said Cilic. “Damir is a great runner and defends very well, but I felt I played very solid overall.”
In first-round doubles play, top seeds Nicholas Monroe and Artem Sitak defeated Johan Brunstrom and Matt Reid 6-2, 6-7(3), 10-8, and will play Antonio Sancic and Adil Shamasdin for a place in the final four. Third seeds Jonathan Erlich and Scott Lipsky moved past Dutra Silva and Paolo Lorenzi 7-6(4), 6-2. They'll next face wild cards Tuna Altuna and Alessandro Motti, who defeated Serbians Dusan Lajovic and Viktor Troicki 4-6, 7-5, 10-4.