Raonic’s Cinderella story comes to a close at the Australian Open
Milos Raonic—the Thornhill native who had been doing spectacularly well at the Australian Open—dropped a four-set decision to the seventh-ranked player in the world in Melbourne this morning, falling just short of becoming the first Canadian man to ever reach the quarter-finals at a Grand Slam event. The big-serving 20-year-old made a big splash in the land down under, however, knocking off two players in the top 25, including 10th-ranked Mikhail Youzhny on Saturday, and cracking the Association of Tennis Professional (ATP) Tour’s top 100 along the way.
After winning three matches to even qualify for the Open, Raonic pulled off three quick upsets in the first three rounds. He beat Bjorn Phau handily to open play before upsetting number 22, Michael Llodra, in straight sets. In this third round matchup with Youzhny, he fired 31 aces en route to a four-set victory. But he couldn’t sustain his blistering pace against Spain’s David Ferrer, making a whopping 68 unforced errors as the 10-time tour winner ended his run 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. Ouch.
Despite the loss, Raonic equalled Daniel Nestor’s run to the fourth round at Wimbledon in 1999 and Martin Laurendeau’s final-16 showing at the 1988 U.S. Open as the deepest runs on the ATP Tour by Canadian men. And Raonic did it in only his second-ever major appearance, walking away with a $93,000 sum.
Had he advanced to the quarter-finals, Raonic would’ve been pitted against the world’s top player, Rafael Nadal, who praised Raonic’s game after beating the upstart youngster at the Japan Open last October. Instead, next up for Raonic is a trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, to qualify for an upcoming ATP tournament there.
• Canada’s Milos Raonic falls in four sets [Toronto Star]
• Milos Raonic ousted from Australian Open by Spain’s Ferrer [Montreal Gazette]
• Canada’s Raonic has arrived as a threat on ATP Tour [Montreal Gazette]