Toronto, ON –Milos Raonic stood in the centre stage spotlight during the 2012 Rogers Cup quarter-finals and Toronto fans embraced it.
There was one problem in front of him, 6-9’ American, John Isner, who could also serve one mean heater and he proved it by beating Raonic 7-6, 6-4; despite playing a match earlier in the day.
Isner battled through three sets against German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, in a third round match before facing Raonic later in the night. The rain-out from last night postponed Isner’s match to today.
Isner says despite playing a match earlier in the day, he felt alright and that he had the advantage.
“The way I looked at it is, I was at a bit of an advantage, in my opinion, because he hadn’t played in a few days,” Isner said when asked if he was tired after only two hours of rest in-between matches. “I played a match earlier, a match I could have lost, 6-4 in the third set. Any time you win a match like that, it sort of gives you confidence, so I went out there telling myself I had nothing to lose.”
Isner said although Raonic seemed a little fresher, after a day rest, Isner felt he was more in-tune with the tournament at that point.
Isner also spoke with honesty, no sugar coating about how his opponent played.
“He sort of let me back in that first set,” Isner said. “He was serving up a break and he didn’t play a good game at all… He played a crappy game, to be honest. So I was very lucky there.”
There was no doubt that Raonic agreed with Isner about his play.
“I think in general, he played better than I did,” Raonic claimed. “I didn’t do that many things –my serve was not there by any means, which is a big part.
“He was able just to chip and sort of play, and then I would give away a lot of free points. I double faulted a lot more than I normally do.”
Raonic says he was disappointed about his lost, but not because he lost on home soil. He says you only feel a one to two percent additional edge when playing at home.
He was just more frustrated that he played poorly in general.
Either way, he loved the support, especially from the crowds during this match he said.
“I’m going to take this match and try to learn as much as I can from it…It’s pretty much trying to do the things I can over the next day or two or three and prepare as best I can for the next tournament.
“Just have to do a few things better than I did today.”
Isner battles France-born Richard Gasquet for the first semi-final match on Saturday.
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