(Reuters) – World number four Milos Raonic of Canada overcame a battling Juan Martin del Potro 6-3 7-6(6) on Saturday to set up a Delray Beach Open final against American Jack Sock.
Sock defeated compatriot Donald Young 6-4 7-6(2) to reach his second ATP World Tour final of the season but the 24-year-old world number 21 will have to produce his very best to stand any chance against Raonic’s powerful serve.
The Canadian produced 17 blistering aces in the win over Del Potro, taking early control of the contest in Florida when he broke for a 4-2 lead in the first set after the Argentine went long on a backhand.
Raonic held serve comfortably to win the first set 6-3 but he faced a sterner test in the second set with Del Potro delivering some quality forehand winners.
The 26-year-old Raonic, runner-up at Wimbledon last year, broke to go 6-5 up in the second, only for Del Potro to break back immediately with a superb two-handed return down the line.
Raonic had earlier double-faulted at 30-15 when he was within two points of the match.
The Canadian double-faulted again in the tiebreaker, this time at 5-4 up, but he held firm and won the contest with a trademark ace.
Raonic has beaten Sock eight times in 10 meetings but the American prevailed in their most recent match at the Shanghai Masters in October.
(Writing by Simon Evans; Editing by John O’Brien)