MELBOURNE, January 17, 2019
Milos Raonic has reached the third round of the Australian Open for the eighth time. The 28-year-old Canadian, who knocked off Nick Kyrgios in his opening match, fought past 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka 6-7(4), 7-6(6), 7-6(11), 7-6(5).
In an even encounter with only two breaks for each player, Raonic fired 28 aces, winning 84 per cent of his first service points to prevail after four hours and one minute.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) 17. Januar 2019
“I was very fortunate to stay alive in that fourth set,” said Raonic, who will face Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the next round. Herbert edged out No. 24 seeded Korean Hyeon Chung 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.
“He’s played well. Two very good wins over Sam and over Chung. I think we’re going to try to play a similar way. I think he does things at the net well. He tries to play aggressive. He tries to take swipes at the ball. I think we’re both going to be looking for the opportunity to dictate and who can control more,” Raonic commented.
Austria’s Dominic Thiem was forced to retire due to injury in his match against Australian wild card entry Alexei Popyrin, trailing 7-5, 6-4, 2-0. The 19-year-old from Sydney will next take on Frenchman Lucas Pouille, who defeated Maximilian Marterer of Germany 7-6(8), 7-6(8), 5-7, 6-4 in three hours and 22 minutes.
In the women’s draw, top seed Simona Halep had to fight hard to reach the third round. The World No. 1 from Romania battled past US-American Sofia Kenin 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4. Halep sent down nine aces and broke her opponent’s serve five times to secure victory in two hours and 31 minutes.
Up next for Halep will be Venus Williams, who fought past Alizé Cornet of France 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.
“The first two sets were so tough,” Williams said on-court after the match. “I felt like I was controlling the points in the second set, but I was just falling a little bit short.
“I just kept trying to do the same things and not fall a little bit short.”
Venus’ sister Serena beat Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 10 minutes later in the evening.