ATP Indian Wells: Milos Raonic Edges Into Quarterfinals After Close Battle With Tomas Berdych

The world number seven, Tomas Berdych, was up against the world number 14, Milos Raonic for a berth in the quarterfinals of the 2016 BNP Paribas Open. It was a match of few chances as both players played out two tight sets. Raonic took the first set with just the one break of serve, while Berdych squandered chances to take the second set allowing Raonic to go on to wrap a straight sets victory and recording his 12th win of the season.

Raonic Gets Crucial Break In A Tight Set

It was a good start by both players with comfortable service holds in their first games. The Canadian got first sniff on the Berdych’s serve coming forward to finish the point at the net for his first break point in the third game. Raonic though overcooked the return and Berdych hung on for 2-1.

Berdych playing a shot in the first set | Photo courtesy of: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Berdych playing a shot in the first set | Photo courtesy of: Julian Finney/Getty Images

As the match progressed with the players keeping serve, there was little to separate the two players. Raonic dished out a huge return setting up his second break point of the match in the ninth game. The Czech though blasted an inside out forehand winner to save but handed another break opportunity netting his forehand into the net. Raonic made the most of it firing a backhand down the line winner off Berdych’s second serve to get the break and the lead for 5-4. The Canadian then had no trouble at all to close out the set 6-4.

Raonic solid in his games to take the first set | Photo courtesy of: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Raonic solid in his games to take the first set | Photo courtesy of: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Berydch Fails To Capitalize On Set Points Before Raonic Wins In A Tiebreak

If the first set was close, the second set was an even tighter affair. Berdych who had zero break opportunities in the first set finally created his first in the second game with a fine forehand curler. Raonic though came up with the goods serving up an ace at the perfect time to save it. The Czech continued pushing the Canadian before Raonic eventually closed out the game after three deuces.

Raonic made to work for the second game in the second set | Photo courtesy of: Robyn Beck/Getty Images
Raonic made to work for the second game in the second set | Photo courtesy of: Robyn Beck/Getty Images

That would not be the last of the Czech’s chances though as another one comes his way at 6-5 as Raonic was serving to stay in the set.  The Canadian hit his forehand wide presenting Berdych with the chance to take the second set. Raonic once again used his big serve to good effect not cracking under pressure to stem the effort and bring the set to a tiebreak.

It was an entertaining tiebreak where both players had the chances to seal the set. It was the Canadian who struck first for a 3-1 lead as Berdych fired his forehand long. With a lead at 5-4 and on his turn to serve, Raonic lost out as Berdych hit an explosive backhand to level at 5-all.

Berdych had chance to take the second set but falters | Photo courtesy of: Robyn Beck/Getty Images
Berdych had chance to take the second set but falters | Photo courtesy of: Robyn Beck/Getty Images

Pressure seemed to get to the Czech as an untimely double fault gifted Raonic match point. Berdych, however, came up with an immediate response, covering some distance to unleash a stunning winner to level for 7-7. The Canadian got another shot at the match and Berdych completely missed an overhead to hand the set and match to Raonic. The world number 14 completing a straight sets 6-4, 7-6(7) victory in under two hours.

Raonic is through to the quarterfinals | Photo courtesy of: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Raonic is through to the quarterfinals | Photo courtesy of: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Match Statistics

As expected Raonic was good in the serving department hitting eight aces to Berdych’s two. He did hit one more double fault at five which is the only blemish in an otherwise good serving day.

The Canadian managed to get one break in the entire match whereas Berdych could not take any of the two he had in the second set.

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