Despite the hot conditions during the day, 12th seeded Milos Raonic kept it cool at night at the 2016 Miami Open. The 2016 Indian Wells finalist continued his success of late, getting past American Jack Sock on Stadium Court in one hour and 47 minutes 7-6 (3), 6-4.
The American number two and world number 24 played well, but one break in the first game of the second set sealed his fate. The Canadian number one served well as always, hitting 12 aces and winning 80% of his first service points, helping him towards victory.
Raonic Takes Tight First Set In Tiebreak
Both players came out firing early. Both Raonic and Sock are known for their big serving and aggressive play, and this was evident from the beginning. Raonic was tested very early, as Sock forced deuce in the Canadian’s opening service game, but the 12th seed held. The American had his first look at a break point in the fourth game but could not convert.
After a quick 48 minutes, this first set was headed to a tiebreak. The world number 12 jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and never looked back. With a mishandled drop shot from the American, Raonic took the opening set 7-3 in the tiebreak.
Early Break Propels Raonic To Victory
The Canadian number one lost no momentum between the first set tiebreak and the second set. Right off the bat, the 12th seed broke the American for an early 1-0 lead. Raonic consolidated the break in his next service game. The 2016 Indian Wells finalist nearly went up a double break, but Sock held to remain only one break down.
Raonic’s biggest weapon continued to wreak havoc on Sock, as he failed to gain much traction in the Canadian’s service games. However, in the eighth game, the American saw his golden opportunity. He earned two break chances at 15-40, but Raonic quickly saved them, forcing deuce. On his third break chance, the American had an incredible look at a passing shot as he forced Raonic into the net, yet Sock shanked not only the shot, but also his golden opportunity to get back in the set.
The world number 24 did see one final break chance, but Raonic saved them all, holding the marathon game after nine minutes. Soon enough, Raonic had the match on his racket, serving up a break at 5-4. Sock fought hard to force the game into deuce and saved two match points. On his third chance, Raonic wanted no more of the American, forcing an error on the return-of-serve, clinching the victory in one hour and 47 minutes.
The world number 12 will face Damir Dzumhur, who advanced past Rafael Nadal by way of retirement due to illness in round two, in the round-of-16. This will be their first meeting. The two are scheduled to face-off on the Grandstand, not before 5:00 PM local time in Miami.