The 2nd seed Milos Raonic made a debut in New York this week but couldn't stay there for too long, firing 33 aces in a 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 loss to the young Korean Soonwoo Kwon in two hours and 24 minutes. Kwon played in Pune last week and saved energy for New York after a long trip, fending off all seven break chances to stay in touch with the Australian Open quarter-finalist in the opening two sets, stealing Milos' serve once in the decider to move over the top and reach the quarters.
There were no break chances in the opening set, with Kwon taking the tie break 7-4 following a forehand error from Raonic that gave him a massive boost, staying on the level terms with the better-ranked opponent and hoping for more of the same in set number two as well.
Milos defended an early break chance there and had a massive opportunity to bring the set home before the breaker, with three break chances up for grabs in games nine and 11 each. Soonwoo stayed focused to save them all, reaching another tie break that Raonic claimed with two winners at 5-4 to set up a decider.
There, the Korean grabbed a crucial break at 15 in the third game when the Canadian netted an easy forehand, erasing a break chance in the next game and sealing the deal with a service winner at 5-4 for one of the best victories in a career so far.
"I know I have a good attacking forehand," Kwon said. "The plan was to land first serves in and try to attack balls on the rise from the middle of the court and place it to the perfect spot, as I have much confidence in my forehand. I'm thrilled to win a tough match against Raonic; he played well and it was a great encounter."