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2011 ATP Tour: Unseeded Milos Raonic Gets First Championship With Win Over Verdasco At SAP Open

The unseeded Milos Raonic picked up his very first career ATP Tour Championship at the 2011 SAP Open where he beat the top seed and defending champion Fernando Verdasco in two sets. Neither player was broken over two sets and Raonic took both eventual tiebreaks, taking the championship 7-6 and 7-6. Raonic made the finals as a walkover when second seed Gael Monfils withdrew from the tournament with a wrist injury.

Raonic seemed to be "just behind" Verdasco throughout the entirety of the match - until both sets went to the tiebreak, where he showed poise beyond his experience.

Things were interesting from the beginning, both players started things off with monster service games and it continued on through the first set. Neither player was broken, with Verdasco looking slightly steadier, giving Raonic more trouble on his services than vice versa, but it was a different story halfway through the eventual tiebreak. Verdasco found himself up 6-2, when Raonic began to fight back with his forehand, making several shots and eventually winning the tiebreak 7-6 with his backhand.

Raonic seemed to struggle with Verdasco's lefty serve, while the Spaniard couldn't handle the power of the Canadian's. The second set was very much the same as the first set throughout its majority. Verdasco took it to Raonic while the Candian was serving, and finished up his service games seemingly with ease as both players held all the way through. Halfway through the set, Raonic started hitting aces that seemed to frustrate Verdasco, but it eventually went to a tiebreak again.

The tiebreak got started much like the previous, exchanging points here and there. Raonic took a 4-2 lead after a very long rally and it was clear these two are very evenly matched, was says a lot for the young Canadian against someone of Verdasco's experience and caliber. Raonic took a 5-3 lead as Verdasco spent a challenge so as not to leave them on the board. 6-5 now for Raonic after Verdasco has two strong serves. Raonic serves for the championship and he gets it. Big, big serve from Raonic.