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.