Victorious Milos Raonic works quickly in Barcelona

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Canadian Milos Raonic cruised to the third round of the Barcelona Open on Wednesday with a straight-sets win over Eduardo Roger-Vasselin of France.

Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., needed just 70 minutes for the 6-4, 6-2 win.

The No. 13-ranked Raonic will face qualifier Ernests Gulbis of Latvia in the quarter-finals. Gulbis advanced to the third round on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.

Raonic didn’t need all of his serving power against No. 74 Roger-Vasselin, recording just seven aces.

The fifth-seeded Canadian never faced a break point in the win, which took his record to 2-1 in the pre-French Open campaign.

Raonic secured the opening set in 35 minutes with his seventh ace and quickly moved to 2-1 in the second. He trailed 0-30 as he served for the match leading 5-2, but quickly righted that wrong to advance on his first match point.

“I’m happy with how I started,” said Raonic. “I was able to do a few things quite well. I’m pleased that I controlled play with my serve.

“I made the most of my opportunities and was happy to bounce back after being pretty disappointed last week. I feel good, I’m playing well and not doubting myself too much.”

The win comes after a second-round loss to Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen last week in Monte Carlo.

“I didn’t think I was the lesser player, I just missed opportunities,” Raonic said of the loss. “I don’t think I was playing badly, but the loss just lingered. But I came here and got all of that cleared out of my mind. I was able to get here, get some work done and clear it all away.”

Defending champion Rafael Nadal, meanwhile, eased his way to the third round with a 6-4, 6-2 win against Carlos Berlocq of Argentina.

Nadal, who lost in the final at Monte Carlo last week to Novak Djokovic, said, “right now, I think things are going well.” The world No. 5 has reached five consecutive finals since returning in February from a knee injury and said “after everything that has happened, simply to be competing in these tournaments makes me happy.”

Russian qualifier Dmitry Tursunov stunned the crowd by defeating four-time runner-up David Ferrer in three sets.

Ferrer, who was top-seeded here for the first time in his career, crashed out 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.

Ferrer said he “did not feel well on the court today.”

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