Thursday, May 10, 2012

Federer edges hard-fought Raonic clash

Roger Federer was given a tough examination by the in-form Canadian Milos Raonic in the second round of the Madrid Open before eventually completing a 4-6 7-5 7-6 victory.

The 30-year-old Swiss star, who has won 16 Grand Slams during a glittering career, is hoping to add to his solitary French Open success of 2009, when the action gets underway at Roland Garros later this month.

However, he knows that his form needs to improve if he is to challenge the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in Paris, after being pushed all the way by Raonic, who served 21 aces during the clash. Nadal – often seen as the king of clay – is the runaway favourite for the tournament, even with the presence of the problematic blue clay, and has been heavily backed in the French Open Betting.

World number three Federer admitted afterwards:  "I had a tough first set and one bad game that cost me the set really.

"He could swing big on my service games and I couldn't do that much on his but I was getting more balls back as the match went on. I played a good tie-breaker overall."

Federer was forced to save seven of the eight break-points he faced on his way to a victory that took two hours and 14 minutes and he will come up against the 14th seed Richard Gasquet in the third round.

The Frenchman, who was recently beaten in the final of the Estoril Open by Juan Martin del Potro, edged past Viktor Troicki 7-5 6-3.

Meanwhile, the seventh seed Janko Tipsarevic eventually prevailed 7-6 6-7 6-3 after a tight encounter with qualifier Federico Delbonis.

The Serbian will face ninth seed Gilles Simon in the third round. All the odds for that match, as well as previews and tips, can be found at Betfair.

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