Preview: Raonic seeks final 8 appearance at Tokyo

Canadian faces Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia in third round of the Japan Open

The last time Milos Raonic ran into Janko Tipsarevic was in the final of an ATP event last January at Chennai, India.

That turned out to be the Canadian’s second tour victory.

Thursday night in Tokyo, they meet again in the third round of the Japan Open.

Tipsarevic, the third seed, beat World No. 19 Gilles Simon 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 and ousted Swiss qualifier Marco Chiudinelli 6-4, 6-2.

Raonic was leading Viktor Troicki 3-0 in the first set on Wednesday when his Serbian opponent retired. 

Here’s how the quarter-final looks: 

Head to Head In their previous meeting, the Thornhill, Ont., native triumphed over the Serbian in the final of the Aircel Chennai Open, 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 7-6(4).

Raonic capped off a strong performance in a grueling three hour and 14-minute match and picked up his second ATP World Tour title.

The contest was highly entertaining and featured three tiebreaks and with no breaks of service.

There were 35 aces from the hard-hitting Canadian, and he  won 77 per cent  (88/113) of total service points. He also converted on all break points (4/4) and had one double fault.

That event featured a hard court surface, where Raonic owns  a career 52-23 record while World No. 9 Tipsarevic has a  141-107 mark.

Playing Activity Named the 2011 ATP World Tour Newcomer of the Year, Raonic has made notable strides in his game is arguably a solidified top-25 player.

He has three ATP trophies to his name and the 21-year-old still boasts the highest ranking for a singles player in Canadian history.

Known for being one of the few pros that wears sunglasses, Tipsarevic is 50-20 on the year and reached the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open for the second year in a row, losing to Spaniard David Ferrer in a tightly-contest five set match.

The Serbian, who turned professional in 2002, has also had impressive wins over compatriot Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open and Tomas Berdych at the World Team Championship.

An experienced veteran, he has been one of the most consistent players this year and is nearing 250 career wins.

Playing Style Canada’s rising tennis star has a powerful, consistent and accurate serve that he rarely concedes. Thanks to his impressive frame, he can also deliver menacing forehands. Still, the young man still needs to improve his court mobility and shot selection.

Tipsarevic, the 27-year-old native of Belgrade, has great movement and packs tremendous flexibility. He is a retriever who lengthens rallies and gets to plenty of balls. He is also quite aggressive and adjusts well to opponents.

Prediction: Tipsarevic exacts revenge and wins a close game, 2-1.