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The 2012 SAP Open has come to its conclusion, with Milos Raonic taking home the title for the second-straight year. Raonic bested Denis Istomin in straight-sets, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 and looked very good doing it. His incredibly powerful serve was too much to overcome, especially in the second set. Istomin hang in there in the first, but seven aces led Raonic to the victory.
Raonic came into the tournament as the third seed, higher than the previous year, in which he bested Fernando Verdasco in the finals. With a 5-2 lead in the second set, Raonic broke Istomin seemingly without issue to win the match in just 79 minutes. He came in as the clear favorite, avenging earlier losses to Ryan Harrison with a dominating performance (with a similar 7-6, 6-2) in the semifinals.
This was a statement for Raonic, who is just 21 years-old and winning in impressive fashion. His style of play is great because he has the ability to suddenly "switch on" and change the tide of the match. There's points in which he'll struggle early, but muscle through to pick up a big win and that's what he did in the SAP Open. He won 92 percent of his service games against Istomin, converted all of his break opportunities and did not face a single break point.
It was a thrilling tournament, though it lacked some of the star power it could have had, with Gael Monfils withdrawing due to an injury at its start and Andy Roddick faltering with injuries of his own. Roddick did play though, and fell to Istomin in straight-sets 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. He had an ankle injury, and was playing his first tournament since injuring his hamstring at the Australian Open.
Spectators were treated to racket-smashing and plenty of arguing, but he was on his way out. Istomin went on to the semifinals, where he bested Julien Benneteau in three sets. The fourth-seeded Radek Stepanek was bounced out before the quarterfinals by Steve Darcis. This is Raonic's third ATP World Tour title.
There was, to say the least, some frustration for the second-seeded Andy Roddick on Friday at the SAP Open in SAn Jose. Roddick was beaten soundly by Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-4 to be eliminated in the quarterfinals, after having his potential path to victory getting considerably easier with the withdrawal of the one seed, Gael Monfils. Roddick was, in so many words, not a very happy camper.
He slammed his racket on the court, argued with the chair umpire, anybody he made eye contact with and perhaps some other voices inside of his own head. He hit a ball randomly into the air and broke one of his rackets. It was quite the 76-minute temper tantrum.
After he sent the ball into the curtains past the opposite baseline grandstand, chair umpire Steve Ulrich gave Roddick a misconduct warning, hardly important given the fact that Roddick was already well on his way to a loss. Roddick went on to argue with the umpire, asking him if the misconduct was given for the racket slamming, and the umpire told him it was for hitting the ball. Roddick told him "I challenge you on that."
His frustration is understandable, though, given his injuries of late. Roddick has been hurt a good deal over the last couple years, and recently he's been hit exceptionally hard. He had to withdraw from the Australian Open with a hamstring injury, and suffered a recent ankle sprain, on top of that. He was clearly struggling to play with the injury.
Roddick plans to play at his next destination in Memphis next week, despite his injuries.
That victory pushed Istomin into a matchup with Julien Benneteau in the semifinals, along with Milos Raonic vs. Ryan Harrison. Those matches are scheduled for Saturday, with the finals to come on Sunday. Raonic is the defending tournament champion and is the clear favorite of the four remaining.
With the spectacle of frustration and an implosion from Andy Roddick and the smooth sailing of Milos Raonic, the semifinals for the SAP Open at the HP Pavilion in San Jose are set. Roddick dropped straight sets to Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals while arguing and complaining the whole way. He was the highest seed in the tournament following the withdrawal of Gael Monfils, and now that falls to Raonic, who took home the title last year.
Raonic will be taking on Ryan Harrison, who bested Dimitar Kutrovsky in just 62 minutes on Friday. He was down 2-0 in the second set, but reaped the benefits of replay to get two calls overturned. That match is set for 1:00 p.m. pacific on Saturday and will go for a spot in the finals.
The other spot is down to the aforementioned Istomin and Julien Benneteau of France. Benneteau bested Steve Darcis in three sets, after dropping the first one 3-5. He went on to dominate sets two and three with scores of 6-1 and 6-2. That matchup is set for 7:30 p.m.
There's also doubles to look forward to, with the semifinals set for that as well. Gilles Muller and Oliver Rochus will take on Mark Knowles and Xavier Malisse, while on the other side of the bracket, Kevin Anderson and Frank Moser will take on Rajeev Ram and Scott Lipsky. The finals for both men's singles and doubles will be on Sunday. Below, a full look at the Saturday schedule.
Saturday, Feb. 18 Schedule
Men's Singles Semifinals: Ryan Harrison (USA) vs. Milos Ranoic (CAN) - 1:00 p.m. pacific
Men's Doubles Semifinals: Gilles Muller (LUX) and Oliver Rochus (BEL) vs. Mark Knowles (BAH) and Xavier Malisse (BEL) - following the above matchup
Men's Singles Semifinals: Julien Benneteau (FRA) vs. Denis Istomin (UZB) - 7:30 p.m. pacific
Men's Doubles Semifinals: Kevin Anderson (RSA) and Frank Moser (GER) vs. Scott Lipsky (USA) and Rajeev Ram (USA) - following the above matchup
We're a couple days in and the quarterfinals are set for the SAP Open, and are set to begin on Friday. It's been eventful thus far, with Gael Monfils being forced to withdraw due to a knee injury the biggest news. Monfils was the No. 1 seed and was clearly favored, especially with Andy Roddick coming off a big injury. Speaking of Roddick, he's in the quarterfinals, successfully coming back from his Australian Open injury to win and advance.
Sam Querrey failed to get back to his winning ways in regards to singles competition, and the Bay Area native further struggles with his career. Other big news is the fact that Radek Stepanek is not making it to the quarterfinals, losing in straight tiebreaker sets to Steve Darcis on Thursday.
This means Milos Raonic and Andy Roddick are the two highest seeds left, though the former does have a tough matchup in the quarterfinals as he's set to take on Kevin Anderson of Russia. Roddick will look to keep himself plenty healthy as he takes on Denis Istomin.
On Friday, Dimitar Kutrovsky will take on Ryan Harrison, and then Raonic wil ltake on Anderson. Later, Istomin will take on Roddick, and Julien Benneteau will face Darcis, who is coming off his strong victory over Stepanek. Things wrap up on Feb. 19, so now is the time to tune in for some good tennis. The quarterfinals are below:
Dimitar Kutrovsky vs Ryan Harrison
Milos Raonic vs Kevin Anderson
Julien Benneteau vs Steve Darcis
Denis Istomin vs Andy Roddick
The draw for the 2012 SAP Open is now out as the HP Pavilion gets set to hose the annual ATP Tournament. Milos Raonic is trying to defend his title against stiff competition in Andy Roddick and Gael Monfils, while the Bay Area's own Sam Querrey is trying to get back to his winning ways.