Canadian Milos Raonic returns a serve in his opening match

Canada’s Raonic seeks fourth ATP title

Canadian faces Viktor Troicki of Serbia in the second round of the Japan Open

The second round of the Japan Open resumes Wednesday and features rising Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic against world No. 32 Viktor Troicki.

Raonic, the sixth-seed in the tournament, advanced in his opening match with 6-4, 6-4 victory over Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic.

The Canadian held serve throughout the 83-minute match and was hardly intimidated by his Czech opponent. He now owns a 3-0 record over Stepanek.

Troicki, a Serbian native, cruised to a convincing 6-2, 6-3 victory over Robin Haase of the Netherlands on Tuesday. The former No. 12 player wrapped up the match in just 65 minutes and never conceded serve.

Here’s how Raonic and Troicki matchup:

Head to Head

This will mark the second head-to-head match between the two.

Raonic  and Troicki played each other for the first time at the 2012 Roger’s Open. On that occasion, the Thornhill, Ont., native prevailed on home soil in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.

The 21-year-old Canadian wrapped up that contest in 69-minutes and amassed seven aces. Raonic also won 79 per cent (42/53) of total service points and converted on all break points (2/2).

Playing Activity

This year Raonic owns an impressive record of 39-16 and two ATP 250 titles. The world No. 15 captured a second straight SAP Open, the second oldest men’s professional tennis tournament, in February. He also won the Aircel Chennai Open with a victory over top seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.

Troicki, who turned professional in 2006, is 25-24 on the year but has yet to win an ATP title this season. However, the 26-year-old had a strong outing at Wimbledon this year where he advanced to the quarter-finals, eventually losing to top seed and then champion Novak Djokovic.

Hard courts are the preferred surfaces for Raonic and Troicki. The hard-serving Canadian owns a 50-23 career record while Troicki has a 107-84 mark.

Playing Styles

Both players are physically imposing, with Raonic listing at 6’5 and Troicki 6’4, respectively, and benefit from strong service and overhead games. Roanic exploits his opponents with powerful baseline forehands, but still has a steep learning curve when it comes to lengthening rallies and improving his backhand.

Troicki is more of an athlete and moves well around the court. But the Serbian is mentally weak and is highly emotional. When down a first set, his record is 34-116, further demonstrating his inability to recover from bad starts.

Prediction: This should be a close match, but Raonic gets the win in three sets.