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Gunning for his fourth-career title and third for the season, World No. 15 Milos Raonic has been living up to the expectations of all those who hailed him as the next big thing of tennis – after his maiden title triumph in San Jose in 2011. This rising Canadian will square off against home-favorite, Kei Nishikori, who will not leave any stone unturned to get his hands over that coveted trophy – which certainly holds a lot of value for him, as it comes from his homeland.
Sixth seeded Milos Raonic upset reigning Tokyo champion Andy Murray at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships on Saturday, saving two match points to win 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(4) against the World No. 3. With this victory, the twenty one year old Canadian not only sent a strong message to his opponents on tour that he has it all to beat the Top 10 players in the world, but also to his critics that his last win over Murray was not a mere fluke. The 15th-ranked Milos Raonic is gunning for his third title of the year and has an impressive 41-16 win-loss record for the season.
Playing in his first final in Asia, the eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori earned a 6-2, 6-2 victory Marcos Baghdatis in the first semi-final on Saturday. After the match, the elated Japanese said, “It’s an incredible feeling because I’m in a final in my home country. I didn’t think I would be in the final, so I’m very happy. I haven’t won a tournament in four years so hopefully I can win tomorrow.” Nishikori is playing in his first final in 2012 and will be looking to win his second-career title. The Japanese contender has a good 34-17 season record.
This will be a first-meeting between these two and amidst present state of affairs, Raonic appears favorite.
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