San Jose, CA – Canadian Milos Raonic captured the SAP Open for a third straight year and kept his perfect record at the tournament intact following a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Germany's Tommy Haas Sunday at HP Pavilion.
The top-seeded Raonic became the first player to win three Bay Area tournament titles in a row in the Open Era (since 1968) and the first since Tony Trabert from 1953-55.
"Today, I'm more of a complete player," Raonic said. "I was able to put pressure on him in most of his service games. I was able to hold quite handily, which I've shown I can do in the past. I was able to create pressure every game."
The 22-year-old moved to 12-0 lifetime in San Jose. Raonic beat Fernando Verdasco in 2011 and Denis Istomin last year. He wasn't broken in any of his games during this year's tournament.
Raonic won't get a chance to return to San Jose next year for this event though. This was the final edition of the SAP Open. The tournament ran for 125 years since its inception in 1889, but it will move to Memphis in 2014. The higher profile tourney in Memphis, which also includes play from the WTA Tour, shifts to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next year.
Raonic took an early break of serve for a 3-1 lead in the first set. Before that, the 34-year-old Haas, hadn't been broken in the tournament. Facing Raonic for the first time, Haas managed to save a pair of set points, but a backhand return was long to end the set.
Haas held serve and was up 3-2 in the second set, but Raonic was able to take the break for a 4-3 lead. Haas fought off one match point, but his wide return sealed the outcome.
"I think the thing I've really focused on is the second serve return," Raonic said. "I think in the beginning he wasn't missing many first serves but I was able to put a lot of pressure on his second serve, and then put more pressure on his first serve later in the match. I was able to stay aggressive."
Raonic, who has never lost a set at this event, fired 19 aces to just one for Haas and took home $98,700 for winning his fourth career championship. The fourth-seeded Haas, who was making his eight appearance in San Jose and was bidding for his 14th lifetime title, won $52,000.
"There was nothing I could have done," Haas said. "I didn't play a bad match. I just came up against a guy who played phenomenal tennis today."