Nadal gives Raonic runaround in Tokyo
Top seed Rafael Nadal ran hard-serving Canadian Milos Raonic ragged in a 7-5 6-3 victory to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Japan Open today.sports Updated: Oct 06, 2011 13:36 IST
Top seed Rafael Nadal ran hard-serving Canadian Milos Raonic ragged in a 7-5 6-3 victory to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Japan Open on Thursday.
The defending Tokyo champion will face Santiago Giraldo next after the Colombian beat Russia's Dmitry Tursunov 6-4 7-6 to reach the last eight of the $1.34 million hardcourt event.
Nadal took a tight first set when Raonic's biggest weapon let him down, the 20-year-old double-faulting before slicing a volley long on an aggressive charge to the net.
Raonic, making his return to the men's tour after hip surgery following Wimbledon, appeared sapped of strength in the second set as the afternoon shadows crept across centre court.
With Nadal pulling the strings in almost every rally, Raonic gifted the Spaniard a break for 4-2 with a shanked forehand which flew into the crowd.
Nadal, playing his first tournament since helping Spain reach the Davis Cup final last month, quickly moved in for the kill, ripping a forehand into the corner to finish the job.
Nadal's Spanish team mate David Ferrer made hard work of reaching the last eight, the third seed grinding out a 4-6 6-2 6-2 win over Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden.
Ferrer, Japan Open winner in 2007, will play seventh seed Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic next. Second seed Andy Murray of Britain was playing American Alex Bogomolov in their second round match later on Thursday.