Raonic Stumps Stan; Federer, Djokovic on Court Tuesday at Australian Open
by Staff | January 25th, 2016, 8:39 am

Milos Raonic improved to 8-0 this year on tour, on Monday showing he may be ready to take a Grand Slam leap in 2016, upsetting No. 4 seed Stan Wawrinka in five sets 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3 in Melbourne.
The No. 13 seed, Raonic delivered 24 aces and hit 82 winners to unseat the Swiss in Rod Laver Arena.

“I’m very happy with the way I played, the way I competed, the way I turned things around after sort of having the momentum against me going into the fifth,” said Raonic, who was 0-4 against Wawrinka entering the match. “I’m happy, the situation I’ve put myself in…I was volleying the first volley really well. I was finishing the points. I was putting pressure on him. I was giving him a situation maybe that he wasn’t too comfortable in.”

It was also a landmark win considering the Canadian hadn’t beaten a Top 10 player at a Slam in five years. In the fifth set Raonic broke for a 4-2 lead and rode out the match from there, winning the last game at love.

“Tough match in general, for sure,” said Wawrinka. “I think Milos started really well. He was pushing, playing well. Wasn’t really feeling great there, not playing my best. Wasn’t moving to do something else. I’m surprised it still went five sets.”

Raonic will next meet No. 23 seed Gael Monfils, who booked his first Australian Open quarterfinal appearance with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) win over Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov.

“I was a bit nervous so I could not hit through him for a while,” Monfils said. “Until the end, I was fighting. I think he gave me a good fight, so I was happy to come through.”

Andy Murray and David Ferrer also lined up a quarterfinal meeting after the No. 2-seeded Brit took care of Australian home-country hope and No. 16 seed Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(4), and the No. 8-seeded Spaniard defused the serve of No. 10 John Isner 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.

“Both of us had our chances,” said Murray, who was handed the deciding tiebreak after a flurry on errors from Tomic. “Bernie didn’t play his best tiebreak, missed a few easy balls (but he) fought right to the end and made it very tough for me. Quite a scrappy match. I don’t think there was a time in the match where we were playing our best at the same time.”

Murray is wary of Ferrer, who has quietly been taking down high-profile opponents during the fortnight in Melbourne.

“He obviously played a great match against Lleyton (Hewitt) the other day,” Murray said of Ferrer. “He must have played a great match to beat John, who hadn’t faced a break point in his previous three matches.”

Murray leads Ferrer 12-6 in their career head-to-head, with the Scot winning their last five meetings and beating the Spaniard in the semifinals in Melbourne in 2011.

Tuesday quarterfinal match-ups in Melbourne will be (3) Roger Federer vs. (6) Tomas Berdych, and (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (7) Kei Nishikori.

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25 Comments for Raonic Stumps Stan; Federer, Djokovic on Court Tuesday at Australian Open

Gordon Says:

Being Canadian, I have followed Raonic’s progress over the years and this is obviously a monster win for him.

Opponents will still challenge his backhand, for – although it is improving – it is still not up to the standard of his forehand.

What has really been the part of his game that he lacked last year was the authority at the net. He now knows when to attack and charge the net and he does so with enough hustle that his feet are planted when he strikes the ball. Previously he was still approaching the net when hitting the ball.

His composure was quite frankly alien-like as he kept his emotions maybe too well in check.

But what matters is the result, and he returned to dictating the pace in the 5th set.

Monfils has not played this version of Milos. It will be two contrasting styles going at it. Raonic has beaten Ferrer and he is 3-3 against Murray.

Quite often, after an upset of a top-4 player there is a let down and eggs are laid in the following round. We’ll soon learn if this is the case with Raonic.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Gordon, I;m another Canadian Milos fan. His volleying game is superb, and he’s choosing his spots and shots extremely well. The other enormous change is his return of serve, which is light years ahead of previous versions.

Both guys could have played better today, actually. Stan’s game seemed to lack a lot of his imagination and guts. Milos began hitting a lot of forehands into the net as the game went on. But Milos is back where he was marching two years ago: Slam-challenging level. He can beat Monfils, and I think he would have a real shot against Murray, having a 3-3 record before these major improvements to his game. This is a very good chance for Milos to make his first Slam final.

Milos will not have a let down. He is very strong mentally, very cool emotionally, and he has been intent on making it to these rounds for some years now. He is hungry.

rognadfan Says:

I am saying Milos is goint into the final this year. Server and voley tactic plus improved volleying plus really good ground game. I think he will beat murray in the semis. Really impressive.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I told y’all on the year-end-top-ten-picks page that Ferrer was not going anywhere fast. The guy is Mr Reliable, and that won’t change all of a sudden. Now, another guy many pegged to drop out: Berdych, makes ANOTHER Slam QF. Meanwhile, Milos and Kei prove again that they are no flash in the pan.

But the thing about the top ten: it only fits so many players (I think, maybe a dozen or a bakers dozen or something).

So, IF Berdych, and Ferrer, Milos and Kei are destined to remain in the mix. and if we grant Novak, Andy and Roger “lock” status”, that leaves 3 spots open for Rafa, Stan, Marin, Tsonga, Grigor, Kyrgios, Gasquet, Isner, Goffin, and of course, the Tank Engine (who really wants to be there).

I’ll go with Rafa, Stan and a Mystery Man. Its only January, but I think only one top-ten spot is legitimately up for grabs.

SG1 Says:

Also Canadian…pretty cool thread going here. Milos has always been a dangerous player. He can beat Monfils. Agreed there. 3 of 5 against Murray? Very tough as Milos’ strength plays directly into Murray’s strength. Assuming that’s a bit of a wash and it turns into a “chase down balls” type of match, Milos comes out 2nd. Of course Milos hits a much bigger ball than Murray does and if he can hold his nerve, you never know.

Anyways, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. Monfils can, on any given day, beat anyone. Should be a humdinger. Milos will have to serve wall and go for his shots. I do like the fact he’s serving and volleying more (…like his idol). He realizes he has no chance of beating the Murrays, Federers and Djokovics of this world hanging back on the base line. Good for him!

I’m not a huge Raonic fan as his style is somewhat irritating to watch, but, he does seem like someone that’s very coachable and this is a really good quality (…and one his idol also had).

lapinroyal Says:

As a Canadian, I’m please with Milos’ win, but he isn’t my number one favorite.

Since the version 2.0, I start to give him more TV time, even watch it live ’til 3AM (Quebec time), against Stan. I live the aggressive style serve-and-volley, bigger cut on backhand and more returned ball into play…

Wasn’t sure that Carlos Moya would be the right coach for Milos. But on second though, Carlos also have BH as him weaker side, so Carlos should know how to get hit his way out.

J-Kath Says:

SG1 – Very decent comment. Think Milos will begin to hold a strong position among top 10…and may do miracles, but don’t think he’ll win this Slam.

sisay Says:

I think the draw is opening up for novak…i also see murray losing to rionic ln sf…it is Novak vs rionic in the final on sunday…u heard it here first.

Travis Bickle Says:

However, Wawrinka offered excuse for his loss. It’s not due to Milos’ superior play – it is mainly due to a virus Wawrinka had yesterday.
I wish next time I get a virus I can run for 3.5 hours like Wawrinka did yesterday!

Looks like the only virus Wawrinka got is the “sore loser” virus. It seems to be contagious and hanging around Federer too much is not a good idea…

BBB Says:

Agree about Wawrinka. He’s always been a bit of a whiner.

I’m not a Raonic fan, but I admire what he’s doing at the net.

Chrisford1 Says:

SG1 – Just so it isn’t some Canadian off the radar screen – when you say “idol” do you mean his friend and regular practice partner Novak Djokovic?

lapinroyal Says:

Sampras is Milos’ idol…

RZ Says:

In the Tennis-X bracket, Jalep is keeping the lead but Gypsy Gal has moved into 2nd place.

I had a short reprieve where I moved out of last place but I am back there and am likely to stay as I put all of my “chips” on a potential upset that only has about a 5% chance of happening.

Gypsy Gal Says:

RZ YAY Thanks for the update ;))….

jalep Says:

There’s no way I stay in the lead, I picked Rafa to the final and Kyrgios to beat Fed! haha…

RZ Says:

@Jalep – LOL, see you in the bottom section soon!

Gypsy Gal Says:

Hi Jalep ;))….

jalep Says:

Hi Gypsy, hope you are doin’ well.

Margot has the best bracket but I didn’t look all of them, RZ. And thanks for doing the bracket, I see a lot of names in there I don’t know.

RZ Says:

@Jalep – thanks for entering and letting us know who you are on the bracket. I’m guessing we know everyone, we just don’t know their bracket names.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Jalep mine was more wishful thinking than anything else ;))….

RZ Says:

@GG – sounds like you are getting your wishes so far!

For my bracket, I just figured I had no chance of winning if Djokovic wins the AO, as many others would pick him as the winner and I haven’t been doing a good job with the brackets recently. The irony is that I have to make picks that would most likely keep me in last place in order to try to win.

J-Kath Says:

BBB- Wawrinka a whiner….really….I think we all knew he was severely “under the weather” but still played….bad judgement maybe but hardly a whiner.

SG1 Says:

The Royal Rabbit is correct. Sampras is Milos’ idol. Pete was a very coachable player. Unfortunately for Milos, he isn’t near the natural athlete that Pete was. But, I would put Milos above Andy Roddick in terms of ability and Andy reached 4 or 5 slam finals and did win one.

Milos has to stay on the attack. It’s style of play that gives him the best shot to be a slam contender everywhere but at Roland Garros.

SG1 Says:

And now watch it be Roland Garros where he breaks through…LOL.

BBB Says:

J-Kath – he whined about Mirka, he whined about Kyrgios, he whined about how people pronounce his name, not once but twice. So, yes, whiner.

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