Raonic Races Through Montreal Opener, Faces Countryman Next
Fans in Montreal roared as their home favourite Milos Raonic walked on Court Central to kick off the Coupe Rogers, Canada’s ATP Masters 1000 tournament. The former World No. 3 did not leave his fans disappointed.
Raonic dismissed Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 12 minutes. Pouille defeated Raonic earlier this year in the Australian Open quarter-finals, but the Canadian got his revenge to take a 4-1 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
"Overall today I have to be happy with the way I did things," said Raonic. "I thought I came out, I executed on the things I wanted to do. I knew it was going to be a difficult match. I found a way to sort of get a hold of it and play on my terms."
The No. 17 seed is guaranteed to face one of his countrymen in the second round. He will play #NextGenATP star Felix Auger-Aliassime or 2013 Montreal semi-finalist Vasek Pospisil, whom Raonic defeated in the last four that year.
"I think when I started out on tour, it was something obviously more rare," Raonic said. "Now with six of us on tour, now especially this week, six of us being in the main draw, it was bound to happen to some extent... Obviously I wish as players, for everybody, everybody could be more evenly spread out. They play first round, then I await the winner of that match. That's just how it plays out sometimes. It's unfortunate it played out that way at home."
American qualifier Tommy Paul needed only 65 minutes to get past Canadian wild card Brayden Schnur 6-1, 6-2, while Brit Cameron Norrie battled from a set down to defeat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 after two hours and seven minutes. Paul next meets seventh-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini, and Norrie goes on to face 2017 champion Alexander Zverev, the No. 3 seed.
Chilean Cristian Garin, who has captured two ATP Tour titles this season, ousted Serbian Laslo Djere 6-2, 7-6(4) after one hour and 41 minutes. He will play the winner of top American John Isner and Australian Jordan Thompson.