Raonic’s run ends in loss to Andy Roddick

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Milos Raonic’s dazzling run at the ATP Tour event in Memphis ended in defeat. The 20-year-old Canadian dropped a hard-fought 7-6 (7), 6-7 (11), 6-4 decision to American Andy Roddick in the final of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships on Sunday.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Milos Raonic’s dazzling run at the ATP Tour event in Memphis ended in defeat.

The 20-year-old Canadian dropped a hard-fought 7-6 (7), 6-7 (11), 6-4 decision to American Andy Roddick in the final of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships on Sunday.

Raonic, of Thornhill, Ont., was gunning for his second consecutive ATP Tour victory after winning last weekend in San Jose, Calif.

“It’s the end of two long weeks,” said Raonic, who leaves Monday for his next event in Acapulco. “I just gave it everything I had. It didn’t work out my way. Nevertheless, it was a brilliant final, I think, and it was a lot I pushed out of him and he’s been in the top 10 for how many years now. It’s a positive outlook, something to be very proud and happy with.”

His surprising two-week performance will move him to around No. 37 in the tennis world rankings. He finished 2010 ranked No. 156.

“He’s as exciting of a talent as we’ve seen in a while,” Roddick said of Raonic. “The good news for him is he’s going to be able to learn on the run because that serve is going to win him a lot of matches, even if he goes up and down with his play because it’s one of the biggest serves I’ve seen.”

Roddick polished off the two-hour 36-minute match by diving to put his racket on the ball for a winner down the line that broke Raonic for the victory.

“That’s the best shot I’ve ever hit in my life, considering the circumstance …,” Roddick said. “I don’t really remember much else besides the fact that I went for the ball, and I hit it. I didn’t really think too much of it. I was already in my head, I was like, ’There’s no way,’ and then I heard people cheering. I was like, ’There’s no way that went in. I guess it did.”’

The top-seeded Roddick becomes the eighth American with at least 30 titles, only three behind the late Arthur Ashe. He also has at least one title in 11 straight years, something only Roger Federer has done among active players.

“I think I was very fortunate. I feel like I got outplayed, I just stuck around and kept trying,” Roddick said. “What a memorable 30th victory for me. I couldn’t be happier to do it in Memphis.”

Roddick picked up the US$264,000 winner’s check, his third in Memphis. He also becomes only the third player to win at least three titles in Memphis since 1976, joining Tommy Haas (1999, 2006-07) and Jimmy Connors, who won four (1978-78, 1983-84).

Earlier, Toronto’s Daniel Nestor teamed with Max Mirnyi of Belarus to win the men’s doubles title.

Raonic had 32 more aces and finished the week with 125. He hit 241 km/h to hold serve in the 10th game of the third set, but it wasn’t enough. Roddick dove toward the corner and got his racket on the ball barely a foot off the ground before tumbling over, knocking his hat off.

Roddick immediately looked to follow the shot down the line before pulling himself up. He put his hat back on and then almost shrugged at what he had done.

“I think I may be on one of the YouTube most-viewed points,” Raonic said. “I was on the wrong end of the court. But at least I’ll be on the (description).”

Raonic said he thought he had the point won based on where he put the shot compared to where Roddick was on the court.

“I think it’s nice he had to come up with something that amazing to finish off the match,” Raonic said.

This was the first meeting between Raonic and Roddick, who ranks behind only Federer (67) and Rafael Nadal (43) for career wins among active players. Both have big serves, and each came into the final having been broken only four times during this event.

Roddick had been coughing this week and started slowly with a couple of double-faults and fought off a couple break points to hold serve. He couldn’t get a point off Raonic’s big serve until the 10th game, when the Canadian put a forehand into the net. Roddick broke him twice in the tiebreaker to go up 8-7 and then served up a 204-km/h ace of his own to take the first set. But he moved back, almost to the edge of the court, to give himself enough room to pick up Raonic’s serve.

“It’s a little lonely,” Roddick said. “I was literally having to move officials around on second serve. I said, ’He’s coming there, so you’re going to have to call it from a different angle. … Not a lot of guys who force you to do that.”

They broke each other’s serve early in the second set before holding serve into another tiebreaker. Raonic converted on his third set point after Roddick hit a backhand wide off his serve and then hit a forehand long.

In the third set, Roddick had a chance to close out the match early as he broke Raonic and held serve to go up 4-1.

But Raonic broke back, converting on his fifth break point to pull to 4-3. Roddick was up 5-4 with a chance to break Raonic at 30-40 only to put a backhand into the net. Facing deuce, Raonic served up his 241-km/h ace and then hit a backhand crosscourt for the winner.

Raonic tied the final game at 30 when Roddick put a forehand into the net by doing the same. That set up the final point for Roddick’s exciting dive to finish off the match.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Red Deer jumps to 449 active COVID-19 cases on Sunday

1,516 new cases identified in Alberta

The QEII was closed Sunday morning due to a pole fire. (Photo courtesy City of Red Deer)
UPDATE: QEII near Red Deer reopens

The QEII has been reopened after being closed due to a pole… Continue reading

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Bashaw RCMP investigate fatal collision in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP are investigating after a fatal collision Saturday afternoon. Police were… Continue reading

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It's not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he'd been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

DELIA, Alta. — It’s not often police can report that a unicorn… Continue reading

Investigators from the Vancouver Police Department were in Chilliwack Saturday, collecting evidence connected to a double homicide. (file photo)
Police investigate shooting death of man outside downtown Vancouver restaurant

Vancouver police say one man was killed in what they believe was… Continue reading

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start registering people 18 years and older for COVID-19 vaccines

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s inviting people 18 years… Continue reading

San Jose's Tomas Hertl, center, celebrates with teammates Patrick Marleau, left, and Rudolfs Blacers, right, after Hertl scored a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Friday, April 16, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Patrick Marleau set to break Gordie Howe’s games record

For Patrick Marleau, the best part about Monday night when he is… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Half of U.S. adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

WASHINGTON — Half of all adults in the U.S. have received at… Continue reading

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Federal government to send health-care workers to Ontario, Trudeau says

MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says federal departments and some Canadian… Continue reading

People cross a busy street in the shopping district of Flushing on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in the Queens borough of New York. Access to the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is growing by the day. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kathy Willens
Despite COVID-19 vaccines, Americans in D.C. not feeling celebratory — or charitable

WASHINGTON — This might make Canadians jealous of their American cousins for… Continue reading

A man pays his respects at a roadside memorial in Portapique, N.S. on Thursday, April 23, 2021. RCMP say at least 22 people are dead after a man who at one point wore a police uniform and drove a mock-up cruiser, went on a murder rampage in Portapique and several other Nova Scotia communities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Memorial service in Nova Scotia marks one year since mass shooting started

TRURO, N.S. — A memorial service is planned for today in central… Continue reading

In this April 23, 2016, photo, David Goethel sorts cod and haddock while fishing off the coast of New Hampshire. To Goethel, cod represents his identity, his ticket to middle class life, and his link to one the country's most historic industries, a fisherman who has caught New England's most recognized fish for more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
‘It’s more than just a fish:’ Scientists worry cod will never come back in N.L.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The latest assessment of Atlantic cod stocks, whose… Continue reading

Most Read