SAN JOSE: Big-serving Canadian top seed Milos Raonic captured his record-tying third consecutive ATP Tour SAP Open title on Sunday, defeating German fourth seed Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-3 in the final.
Raonic, ranked 13th, joined Tony Trabert, the 1953-1955 champion, as the only players to win the event three times in a row. Raonic has won 24 sets in a row at San Jose, never dropping a set in any of his title runs.
“A lot has happened here,” Raonic said. “I’ve grown a lot here. I’ve had my best matches here. The opportunity I was given with a wildcard (entry) my first year here, something to build toward, it’s something pretty special.”
It was Raonic’s fourth ATP career title, the other coming last year at Chennai.
The first career meeting between Raonic, 22, and Haas, 34, came in the final match in the 125-year history of the $547,000 indoor hardcourt event, which is being dropped from the ATP programme after this year.
“It’s sad to see it go,” Raonic said. “It’s a tournament we should have kept if there was some way possible,” Haas added. “It’s always sad to see a tournament with so much tradition, and one so many people have put so much into, to see it leave.”
Coco Vandeweghe upset South African sixth seed Chanelle Scheepers while British fourth seed Heather Watson battled to advance in opening matches on Sunday at the WTA/ATP US Indoor Championships.
American Vandeweghe defeated Scheepers 6-2, 6-1 while Watson outlasted Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (7/4) to reach the second round at the $1.58 million hardcourt event. Slovakian seventh seed Magdalena Rybarikova advanced with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over France’s Stephanie Foretz Gacon. Rybarikova will next face American Lauren Davis, who rallied past Kazak Ksenia Pervak 5-7, 6-1, 6-3.