Former world no. 3 Milos Raonic reached his first ATP final since Stuttgart 2018 and the fourth at the Masters 1000 level, seeking the first notable title in Cincinnati. The Canadian earned the 30th top-10 victory in the Cincinnati semi-final, ousting Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 37 minutes for his first Masters 1000 title match since Indian Wells 2016!
Struggling with injuries in recent years, the Canadian has been ranked outside the top-10 for three years now, working hard on his comeback and adding improvements to his game that have made him a contender for big titles again.
In January, Milos defeated Stefanos at the Australian Open, repeating that performance in New York and moving into the final against Novak Djokovic. Leading the aces charts and bringing 44 out of 46 service games home before the Tsitsipas clash, Milos dominated with his serve against the Greek, fending off a set point at 5-6 in the opener and securing one break of serve in set number two to propel himself over the finish line.
Raonic had 28 winners and 16 unforced errors, leaving Stefanos on a 17-11 ratio in a highly entertaining encounter. Hitting a service winner in almost 40% of all the initial shot points, the Canadian kept the pressure on the other side of the net, having a clear edge in the shortest points up to four strokes and staying in touch with Stefanos in the more extended ones.
The Greek didn't play bad at all, having that chance in the first set and losing ground for a few minutes in the second, which was enough to push Milos through.
Milos Raonic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in Cincinnati.
Tsitsipas held at 15 in the opening game with a service winner, secured the 26th straight hold in Cincinnati and played well in the following games.
Servers were just too good in the opening 11 games, dropping 13 points overall and offering nothing to the returners. That all changed in the 12th game when Milos served to stay in the set for the second time. At 30-30, Stefanos placed an excellent return that forced Milos' error and earned a set point for him.
Tsitsipas squandered his chance with a loose backhand, never making another one by the clash's end. They traded early mini-breaks, and it was the more experienced player who grabbed another one at 6-5 following a forehand crosscourt winner, securing the opener after 55 minutes.
The Canadian held at 30 in the second set's opening two service games, clinching a break in game four following a lucky net cord to open a 3-1 gap. Delivering one good hold after another, Milos held at love in game nine with three winners to seal the deal and book the place in the fourth Masters 1000 final.