Melzer holds off Raonic in Memphis final

Jurgen Melzer wasn’t about to let an aching broken toe get in the way as beat Milos Raonic in the final of the ATP Memphis Open.

The unseeded Melzer defeated Raonic, who was making a second-straight appearance in the Memphis decider, 7-5 7-6 (7-4) in the final of the $1.37 million tournament to capture his fourth career ATP title.

“Who would have thought I would come here break my toe and end up winning the tournament,” Melzer said.

Melzer broke the big toe on his right foot when he tripped over his bed in the hotel room on Thursday night.

He decided against putting a wrap on it and went out the next day and beat top seed John Isner in the quarter-finals.

Melzer, who upset Isner and third-seed Radek Stepanek en route to the final, clinched Sunday’s victory in a second-set tiebreak when Raonic hammered a backhand into the net.

The left-handed Austrian earned $US278,000 ($A260,500) in prizemoney for his first win since successfully defending his crown in his hometown of Vienna two years ago.

“This is a very important time for me,” Melzer said. “I am happy I pulled it through.”

It was the second year in a row the fourth-seeded Raonic lost in the Memphis final after winning the week before in San Jose.

Melzer broke the Canadian’s mighty serve in the seventh game of the second set to cut Raonic’s lead to 4-3. Melzer then survived a set point in the 10th game before both players held serve to set up the tie-break.

Melzer also broke Raonic’s serve in the 11th game of the first set to take a 6-5 lead. He ended the 41-minute opening set with an ace out wide on his second set point that Raonic couldn’t reach with his backhand.

By taking the first set, Melzer snapped Raonic’s 2012 win streak at 19 consecutive sets. Raonic had not lost a set since he fell to Aussie Lleyton Hewitt in the third round of the Australia Open in January.

Melzer reached a career-high ranking of eighth in the world in early 2011 but then struggled in the second half of the season, losing in the first round in three straight tournaments in August before finishing the year with a 22-23 record.

“I went through a hard time last year with a lot of back problems this is finally an achievement that puts me out of the dark times,” Melzer said.

Raonic, who lost in last year’s final to American veteran Andy Roddick, came into Sunday’s championship match riding a nine-match win streak and was seeking to add the Memphis crown to titles he already won this year in San Jose and Chennai.

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