Prior to the 2011 season, the 20-year-old Raonic was actually an anonymous player in the tennis world. Two tournaments (Australian Open, San Jose) quickly changed his status in men’s tennis. In those two events, he admittedly displayed a limited movement & poor returning, but also awesome serving & methodically efficient forehands. In San Jose, participating in his just 8th main-level event, he didn’t drop a set, even despite a 2:6* deficit in the tie-break vs Verdasco . The only break point of the final occurred at 4-all in the 2nd set – Raonic responded with a service winner. Three days later Raonic will beat Verdasco 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5) in the first round in Memphis to reach another final which he loses in a tight battle to Andy Roddick.
Raonic’s  route to his maiden title:
1 Xavier Malisse 6-3, 6-4
2 James Blake 6-2, 7-6(4)
Q Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 7-6(2)
S Gael Monfils w/o
W Fernando Verdasco 7-6(6), 7-6(5)
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