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De Minaur halts Raonic’s comeback in Brisbane

Jan 03, 2018
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Milos Raonic was back in singles action for the first time since last October. Raonic faced world no. 208, 18-year-old Australian wildcard Alex de Minaur in the second round of the Brisbane International.

The 27-year-old Canadian is currently ranked no. 24 in the world after an injury-plagued 2017 season kept him from playing a full calendar year and backing up his results following a career-best year in 2016, which saw him propel to world no. 3.

Brisbane is Raonic’s first event since playing in Tokyo towards the end of the 2017 season. He defeated Viktor Troicki in straight sets in the first round but then retired after one game against Yuichi Sugita in his following match.

In his first tournament in over two months, Raonic was upset by de Minaur 6-4, 6-4 in one hour, 34 minutes.

Raonic came out to a good start, making four straight first serves and holding at love to begin the match, but surrendered the first break of the match in his second service game to trail 2-1.

Raonic earned opportunities to get back on serve but was unable to capitalize on his chances against an inspired de Minaur. Raonic would drop a competitive 6-4 opening set in 45 minutes.

Raonic would need to fend off break points in each of his early service games to begin the second set. After failing to convert on a 0-30 opportunity on de Minaur’s serve, Raonic would enter his third service game and be broken to trail 3-2. He would go down a double break at 5-2 and get one of the break’s back, but he could not recover both and was eliminated in his first match in over two months.

De Minaur hit five aces in the match and won over 70% of his first service points. He saved 5/6 break points. Raonic hit nine aces but held a first service percentage of 59% and won 66% of those points.

The good news for Raonic is that he is playing pain free. He will now continue his preparations for the Australian Open, set to begin January 15.