Milos Raonic defeated Arnaud Clement (FRA) in straight sets at the Sony Ericsson Open today, 7-6(7) 6-2.
Raonic was up an early break in the first set, but Clement was able to get back on serve and take the set to a tiebreak. It was a close one, but Milos was able to edge Clement out and win the breaker. The second set was all Raonic. He didn't face a break point during the second, and he brought his ace total up to 17 for the match.
For his efforts, Raonic will have the pleasure of facing No.4 seed Andy Murray in the third round. Murray is looking to bounce back after a disappointing early exit at the BNP Paribas Open. The draw has not been kind to Milos as of late, who had to face Roger Federer in the third round last week. But that's really determined by his current ranking. By the time the third round gets underway, there will be streams available online and Sportsnet ONE will have live coverage of the tournament.
The Raonic vs Murray match will probably be on Sunday, March 25. It's going to be tough for Milos, that much is certain. He was able to keep the first set close with Federer and come out on top in a tiebreak. The gameplan will likely be similar heading into the Murray match. Andy is notorious for mixing up his shots and he has a great return game. He won't give Raonic the kind of rhythm he likes so he can unload the forehand and get ahead in the points. It almost goes without saying that the serve, which was lacking a bit today, is going to have to be solid. If he can stay with Murray and keep the sets close, the pressure of the bombing serve might result in an opening for Raonic to steal the set away with a late break or in a tiebreaker.
It's another big test for Milos which will no doubt be a treat to watch.