02/10/2015 12:58 EST | Updated 04/12/2015 05:59 EDT

Raonic wins tight three-setter against Kuznetsov to reach 2nd round in Rotterdam

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands - Second-seeded Milos Raonic was made to work for a 6-7 (5), 6-1, 7-5 victory over qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov and a place in the second round of the World Tennis Tournament on Tuesday.

Coming off an Australian Open quarter-finals loss, Raonic hit 19 aces to rally past the 23-year-old Russian in a contest lasting nearly two hours. Raonic got off to a sluggish start but managed to claw his way back into the match with his big serve.

The sixth-ranked Canadian from Thornhill, Ont., who will take on Simone Bolelli in the next round, lost only six points on his first serve.

Earlier, eighth-seeded Gilles Simon defeated Joao Sousa 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 and Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil converted three of his four break points in a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Philip Kohlschreiber.