Rampaging Milos Raonic is back to his tricks again as Canada's top player is enjoying a solid start to his 2012 campaign. Raonic first started making a big name for himself at about this time last season when he went on an impressive run to the 2011 Australian Open's fourth round.
He will face Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia in the championship match at ATP Chennai 2012 on Sunday, a final which has promise to be a competitive affair.
The two players have never met in a tour match and so there is no head-to-head series to examine in previewing the match. However, Tipsy, the No. 9-ranked player in the world, is still coming in as a very slight favorite (source: bet365).
Both players enjoyed byes through the first round in Chennai, however following that it is Raonic who has had the harder road. While Tipsy has faced three non-seeded and relatively unknown players en route the final, Raonic had to face veteran Victor Hanescu in the second round, Dudi Sela in the third round and second-seeded Nicolas Almagro in the semifinals.
Despite having the tougher route to the championship match in Chennai, it is Raonic who is into the final unscathed. The Canadian has not yet dropped a set in the tournament while Tipsarevic, in contrast, did drop one to David Goffin in the quarterfinals.
However, the Serb has enjoyed recent success in 250 level tournament finals. He won both ATP Kuala Lumpur and ATP Moscow late in the 2011 season.
Raonic has won a 250 level title already in his young career as the Canadian picked up his first and only ATP title in San Jose in early 2011.
Win or lose, Raonic looks good to get back into the top 30 with Monday's rankings and both players look in strong enough form to challenge for a spot in the second week of the 2012 Australian Open, a tournament that starts on January 16th.