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ATP Madrid - Raonic and Isner bow out

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by Stephen Kelly

Photo: raonic trudges off court following his retirement against Fernando Verdasco in estoril on Saturday (Daylife) Milos Raonic fell at the first hurdle in Madrid when has ousted in three tight sets bySpanish lefty Feliciano Lopez.

The Canadian converted his only break point chance to take the first set 6-3 but was pegged back in the second when Lopez took it in a tiebreak to level things up. In the first game of the third Raonic lost his serve for the first and only time of the match and was never able to get back on terms as the Spaniard closed it out 6-4 to book a second round match against Roger Federer.

The last remaining player from the USA fell in a similarly tight and serve-dominated three setter with John Isner going down to Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine in a final set breaker. The players split the opening two sets with one break apiece and in the third the Ukrainian earned a match point when Isner served at 4-5.

The former Georgia Bulldog snuffed it out and went on to secure an early 2-0 lead in the tiebreak before surrendering the six of the next seven points to bow out of the tournament. Earlier, Juan Martin del Potro, the champion in Estoril last week, survived an injury scare in the second set of his match against Mikhail Youzhny before eventually prevailing in thee.

Trailing 1-2 and 15-40 on his serve Del Potro pulled up and needed lengthy treatment on a hip injury. His movement was severely hampered afterwards and the Russian levelled things up by taking the set 6-3. However, the problem seemed to subside and the 13th seed had no answer to Del Potro’s power in the third with the 2009 US Open champion taking it 6-3.

In the major upset of the day local boy Fernando Verdasco went out in straight sets to the unseeded Yen-Hsun Lu. The Taiwanese player, who knocked Andy Roddick out of Wimbledon last year, had previously won just a single tour match on clay but was too solid for the erratic Spaniard and prevailed in two close sets, 7-6 (7) 7-5.

Results: First round: Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) d. (13)Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 6-1 3-6 6-3
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) d. Milos Raonic (CAN) 4-6 7-6(2) 6-4
Yen Hsun Lu (TPE) d. (15)Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 7-6(7) 7-5
(WC)Marcel Granollers (ESP) d.

Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) 7-5 6-2
Florian Mayer (GER) d. (16)Viktor Troicki (SRB) 4-6 7-5 6-4
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) d. (WC)Pablo Andujar (ESP) 6-4 6-2
Gilles Simon (FRA) d. Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) 7-5 7-6(8)
Kevin Anderson (RSA) d.

(LL)Olivier Rochus (BEL) 6-2 6-4
Second round:
Jo Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. (q)Pere Riba (ESP) 6-4 6-2(6)
David Ferrer (ESP) d. (q)Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 7-5 0-6
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) d. John Isner (USA) 7-5 4-6 7-6(3)
Guillermo Garcia Lopez (ESP) d.

(q)Thiemo De Bakker (NED) 6-2 6-3
Juan Monaco (Arg) d. (9) Gael Monfils 6-2 3-0 ret
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