Raonic cranks up power to beat veteran Haas

Wed Jul 1, 2015 2:05pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Milos Raonic almost matched the Wimbledon serving speed record against German veteran Tommy Haas as the Canadian powerhouse moved into the Wimbledon third round on Wednesday.

Seventh seed Raonic, a semi-finalist last year on the west London lawns, boomed down one delivery at 145mph, just short of the 148mph missile American Taylor Dent produced five years ago.

Despite his ferocious game, the Canadian was still dragged into a fourth set by the injury-plagued 37-year-old former world number two Haas, who on Monday became the oldest man to win a Wimbledon singles match since Jimmy Connors in 1991.

"I mean, that serve is special, that's for sure," Haas, who lost 6-0 6-2 6-7(5) 7-6(4) on a cauldron-like Court One, said.

"It's been a while since I faced a serve like that."

Haas was completely overpowered for two sets but hit back to snatch the third before Raonic, who fired down 29 aces, prevailed in a nervy fourth set.

Popular German Haas saved three consecutive match points at 5-6 in the fourth set as Raonic wobbled but another ace brought up three more in the tiebreak and this time Haas could not escape, Raonic sealing the win with a backhand pass.

"Yeah, it does help. Makes my life a little bit easier," the 24-year-old Raonic said of his favourite shot.   Continued...

Milos Raonic of Canada serves during his match against Tommy Haas of Germany at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 1, 2015.       REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett