Raonic Living Dangerously In Stuttgart
Fucsovics saves three match points against Basilashvili
Milos Raonic scraped past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(1) in two hours and 27 minutes on Wednesday for a place in the MercedesCup quarter-finals.
The sixth seed and last year’s runner-up, who hit 24 aces, won four straight points from 0/30 at 5-5 in the deciding set and improved to a 5-2 record against Tsonga in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. The Canadian won seven points from 0/1 in the final tie-break.
"I knew it was going to be tough, so I feel very lucky to have a chance to play another match," said Raonic, who is returning to the ATP Tour after recovering from a right knee injury. "My serve helped me out a lot and the goal is to win as many games and matches as I can."
Raonic, who also beat Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin in a third set tie-break on Tuesday, is now 43-19 lifetime on grass, which includes three runner-up finishes (2016 Fever-Tree Championships, Wimbledon; 2018 Stuttgart).
He will next challenge Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics, who saved three match points to edge out fourth-seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-5 in two hours and 15 minutes. Fucsovics saved three match points when serving at 4-5 in the deciding set, then won nine of the next 12 points.
Later in the day, Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff fired 15 aces in a 6-2, 6-2 win over Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia in 59 minutes. Struff entered the week at a career-high No. 38 in the ATP Rankings following a Round of 16 run at Roland Garros (l. to Djokovic).
Struff will next meet French wild card and 2017 champion Lucas Pouille, who knocked out No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-2 in just over two hours to improve to a perfect 4-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against the Russian. Medvedev fired 19 aces - including four in a 29-second game - to three for Pouille, but the Frenchman converted on three of his 12 break point opportunities while saving four of the six faced on serve.
Wednesday’s play got underway at 2:30 p.m. local time, three-and-a-half hours after the original start time, due to rain.