MELBOURNE, January 21, 2019
Milos Raonic has defeated a Top 5 opponent at a major for the third time and extended his record for the most Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances by a Canadian player. The World No. 12 knocked out No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-1, 6-1, 7-6(5) on Monday afternoon on Rod Laver Arena.
Raonic fired 15 aces, winning 80 per cent of his first service points and dominated the encounter right from the beginning.
Zverev showed his frustration by destroying his racket after going 4-1 down in the second set, smashing it on the court nine times. Raonic took the first two sets in just 63 minutes. The German youngster improved his level in the third but the 28-year-old Podgorica native finished the encounter in just under two hours of play.
— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) 21. Januar 2019
“I played incredible today, I did a lot of things incredibly well today and I’m very proud of that,” Raonic said. “It was tough. I had the match points at 4-5 and would have liked to have played those differently. But I kept thinking forward, concentrating on my service games.
“I just had to try and stay composed, it was all working well for me today and I’m happy I finished it off like that.”
Zverev had to admit: “I played bad. The first two sets especially I played horrible. “
“It’s just tough to name on one thing. I didn’t serve well and didn’t play well from the baseline. Against a quality player like him, it’s tough to come back from that.”
Raonic will next play Lucas Pouille of France, who ousted No. 11 seeded Croat Borna Coric 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5, 7-6(2) in three hours and 15 minutes.
Serena ousts Halep
In the women’s draw, Serena Williams progresses to her 12th Australian Open quarterfinal. The six time Melbourne champion from the United States won four of the last five games to defeat World No.1 Simona Halep 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 in one hour and 47 minutes.
“It was a really intense match. There were some incredible points,” Serena said.
“I really needed to elevate my game. She’s the No. 1 player in the world and there’s a reason why. She’s a great player. I had to play how I knew I could.
“I’m such a fighter, I just never give up. I don’t know, it’s definitely something that’s innate. I work so hard for every point.”
Williams will next meet Karolina Pliskova, who beat Garbine Muguruza of Spain 6-3, 6-1, in the stage of the final eight. The 23-time Grand Slam champion leads their head-to-head record 2-1, having last met at the US Open last year when Williams won 6-4, 6-3.