CHENNAI - Big-serving Milos Raonic enhanced his reputation as one of the hottest young stars in men's tennis when he won the ATP Chennai Open title on Sunday in a nail-biting encounter. The 21-year-old Canadian, named the ATP's newcomer of 2011 for jumping from 156 to 31 in the rankings, overcame world number nine and top seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/4).
The six feet, five inches (196 centimetres) tall Raonic blasted 35 aces against Tipsarevic's eight to win only his second career title after a rousing final that lasted three hours and 13 minutes.
Raonic earned $71,000 and 250 ranking points, while Tipsarevic got $37,860 and 150 points ahead of the season's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on January 16.
Neither player was able to secure a break in the entire match that was watched by a sell-out crowd of 5,200 at the Nungambakkam tennis stadium in the southern Indian city. "It's just an awesome feeling to win another title," Raonic said. "I've just been on the tour for a year and am learning all the time. Here I realised that it is good to have the security of a sound serve and wait for the opportunities to come your way. In my three finals so far I have played in seven tie-breakers in eight sets. So I could not have asked for more when the match went my way. I am happy with the way I played this week on hard court. I was able to return better and served quite well.”