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Home favourite Milos Raonic stretched to the wire by Jack Sock in Toronto

Home favourite Milos Raonic stretched to the wire by Jack Sock in Toronto

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by Andre Terry

Tennis: World No.6 and home favourite Milos Raonic had a narrow escape in the second round match against America's Jack Sock in Rogers Cup Toronto.

The Wimbledon semifinalist dropped the first set 6-4 and won next two sets 7-6, 7-6 to avoid a shocking loss infront of the Canadian crowd. Raonic had become first Canadian to break into the top 10 after reaching the final of Rogers Cup in Montreal last year and become first player from his country to reach Quarterfinals of the French Open and semifinals of Wimbledon.

After winning the ATP 500 Washington title last week, he achieved career high ranking of 6 this week. He was up against Jack Sock, who vowed to take revenge of last week's Washington loss against Raonic. Sock broke Raonic in the 5th game and did not face even a single break point in the whole set, to take the first set 6-4.

There were no breaks in the second set and it went to a tie-break, which Raonic won 7-2. In the third set, there were no breaks once again and all the games were held, before it was decided by the tie-break. It went on serve in the tie-break too, until Raonic got a mini-break to go 5-3 up.

It was enough as he held his service points and won the tie-break 7-4 to reach the last 16. He will face Julien Benneteau next, who knocked out the 11th seed and this year's French Open semifinalist Ernests Gulbis in straight sets 7-6, 6-3.

Fourth seed Tomas Berdych and Seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov also dropped first sets in their matches before going through to the last 16. Berdych lost the first set 7-6 in the tie-break and won next two sets 6-4, 6-4 against Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei.

Awaiting Berdych in the last 16 will be Feliciano Lopez, who eased past Tim Smyczek of USA in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. Dimitrov went one set down against Donald Young, when he dropped first set 6-4, but progressed after 6-2, 6-3 in the second and third set.

He will play 17th seed Tommy Robredo next, who won 7-5, 6-4 against Gilles Simon 5th seed David Ferrer also went to 3 sets against the American qualifier Michael Russell. The Spaniard won 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 to book a clash with Ivan Dodig, who won 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 against Andreas Seppi.

15th seed Marin Cilic was also pushed to the distance by Tunisia's wildcard Malek Jaziri. The Croat lost the first set 6-4 but won the next set 6-0 to force the match into the deciding set. Third set went to the tie-break, which Cilic won 7-4 to go through.

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