CHENNAI, Jan. 8 Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic edged out top seed Janko Tipsarevic 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 in the final of the 2012 Aircel Chennai Open at the SDAT-Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium on Sunday.
Fourth seed Raonic blasted 35 aces — over four times more than his opponent — in a marathon match that lasted three hours and 16 minutes.
“It is only my second title. It is an awesome feeling,” World No. 31 Raonic told a news conference after what was the tournament’s longest final and one without a service break over 36 games.
Raonic had played the qualifiers in the 2011 edition in what was the beginning of a spectacular year as he climbed from 156 in the rankings to a career-high 25 and was adjudged the ATP Newcomer of the Year.
World No. 9 Tipsarevic, semifinalist in the previous two editions, saved four break points and struck four aces in the fourth game of the first set, and powered past the 21-year-old Canadian in the tie-break.
“I created a lot of opportunities… one in each set,” said Raonic, who beat Spanish world No. 10 and second seed Nicolas Almagro in the semifinals.
“Tipsarevic took it away in the first set,” Raonic said, referring to the fourth game. “But I took my opportunities in the second and third.”
It is Raonic’s second Tour title.
“My serve is a big factor in my game… in 99 percent of my matches,” said Raonic, who averages a consistent 200 kmph on his first serve. “My job is to take care of my serve.”
Tipsarevic, who will partner India’s Leander Paes in the doubles final later on Sunday, predicted that Raonic was a player with a future.
“Guys like Milos are special players,” he said after his first meeting. “It was a great game of tennis. Nobody knew till the end who would win.
“Unluckily for me it was I who lost. It was just a matter of a few points here and there. Hopefully the next time I will get the better of him,” said Tipsarevic before getting ready for his second game of the evening.