Milos Raonic has posted his first victory on Chinese soil for the season after a narrow 7-6(5), 7-6(2) triumph over Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai on Tuesday. The Canadian, currently at No. 13 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, atoned for a disappointing first-up loss in Beijing last week, taking the initiative in the tie-breaks better against the World No. 34.
Bellucci broke Raonic in the opening game of the match and held a mini-break in the opening set tie-break but could not maintain the advantage. Despite his loss in Beijing last week, Raonic had salvaged somewhat of a return to form with his first title of the season – his first in 14 months – in St Petersburg late last month. He moved through to a showdown with Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut after the one-hour, 39-minute tussle and consigned Bellucci to his 17th straight defeat to Top-10 opponents.
Belgian David Goffin – No. 17 in the Race to London – made a perfect start on his Shanghai debut, beating Japanese qualifier Go Soeda 6-4, 6-2. Soeda saved a set point on serve at 3-5 but Goffin closed out the opening set on serve 6-4 and powered through to set up a second round meeting with No. 13 seed John Isner. Goffin saved both break points he faced and won 90 per cent of his first serve points.
Within seconds of the Belgian’s victory, American Jack Sock followed him through and by an identical score-line. Fresh from a run to the quarter-finals in Beijing last week where he pushed Rafael Nadal to three sets, Sock saw off Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot 6-4, 6-2. The World No. 33 finished with 10 aces to the Pole’s four and made good on five of the eight break points he brought up.