MONTREAL, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Canadian Milos Raonic wrote his name into the Rogers Cup history books on Saturday but it was his guaranteed elevation inside the worlds top ten that saw him skip for joy after he beat compatriot Vasek Pospisil in the semi-finals.
Raonic shrugged off a poor second set to record a 6-4 1-6 7-6(4) win and reach his first Masters series final where he will face Spain’s Rafa Nadal.
Whatever happens in Sunday’s title decider, 22-year-old Raonic will be ranked inside the top ten for the first time when the new rankings are released next week.
It capped a memorable day for the hosts who celebrated an all-Canadian semi-final at the tournament and its first finalist since 1958 when Robert Bedard won the title.
Raonic, however, could not help but feel elated at having finally achieved a status many predicted he would attain after he jumped nearly 100 places in just six weeks thanks largely to a fourth round appearance at the Australian Open in 2011.
“The top 10 ... it’s a goal that I set out this year. To be able to do it here in Montreal is pretty amazing,” Raonic said. “It’s a very special day to at least get to a goal ... which looked a little bit difficult after how I played recently.”
Before Montreal, Raonic had failed to reach a quarter-final in his last seven tournaments.
In May, the towering 22-year-old replaced his coach Galo Blanco with former world number three, Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic.
The results did not immediately improve and Raonic doubted how far he would progress this week.
”With how I’d been playing, I was happy to get through that first match,“ Raonic said. ”I didn’t really think too much of this week.
”I just wanted to make sure I stayed aggressive and gave myself an opportunity to do well on my goals, as far as development goals, really than results.
”I’ve been saying since the start of this week, it’s about developing and getting better.
“We prepared well physically and on court. For it to come together here is very amazing ... but this week’s not over by any means.” (Editing by Greg Stutchbury)