SAN JOSE (Reuters) - Canadian Milos Raonic continued his impressive early-season form by beating former world number four James Blake in straight sets in their second-round clash at the San Jose Open on Wednesday.
The confident, big serving 20-year-old showed his mettle in a 6-2 7-6 triumph to set up a quarter-final against Lithuanian Richard Berankis, who defeated American Donald Young 6-4 5-7 7-5.
"I'm playing well, I'm playing confident and doing the things I need to do," Raonic told reporters.
"Serving well, taking care of my serve and putting pressure on return games. Everything's coming together."
Raonic's serve did let him down once, however, when he was broken at 5-4 when serving for the match, but he recovered to persevere through a tie-breaker.
After reaching the fourth round of last month's Australian Open as a qualifier, Raonic showed more composure and recorded 13 aces in his latest triumph.
"To overcome what happened in that game, that good game he played, was really satisfying," Raonic said. "I was more excited than usual after my win over James today."
Defending champion and top-seeded Fernando Verdasco advanced past American Rajeev Ram in an easy 6-3 6-2 first-round rout.
Second-seeded Gael Monfils also made in through the first round thanks to a 6-3 6-2 win over Bradley Klahn.
In the day's other first-round action, big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic knocked off home favorite Ryan Sweeting 6-4 6-4 while American Robert Kendrick topped Russian Igor Kunitsyn 7-5 3-6 6-4.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Patrick Johnston)