After receiving a first round bye for the Mutua Madrid Open, fifth seed Milos Raonic was in action against Gilles Muller of Luxembourg early on Wednesday morning. The Canadian came out on top, taking the match 6-4, 6-4.
— Mutua Madrid Open (@MutuaMadridOpen) May 10, 2017
Raonic is looking to continue his successful run on clay, which saw him reach the finals at last week’s Istanbul Open, where fell to Marin Cilic of Croatia, 7-6(3), 6(3). It was his first ever final on clay, a surface on which he has been known to struggle.
In the first set against Muller on Wednesday, the Canadian relied on his strongest weapon, his serve. Although both players tallied the same number of aces in the set (8), Raonic was more dominant during his service games, notably winning 94% of his first serve points.
Play was relatively even between the two before Raonic was able to break his opponent late and give himself an opportunity to serve for the first set. The Canadian, who did not face a single break point, took the set 6-4.
Going into this match, Muller lead the head to head between the two players, having won two matches, while Raonic had only won one. However, the Canadian won their most recent match-up earlier this year in the first round at the Australian Open.
Raonic had a strong start to the second set, breaking his opponent early. The Canadian made quick work of his service games, while Muller struggled to hold on his serve. Despite the relatively close score, Raonic dominated play, winning the match 6-4, 6-4 in a little over an hour, to the great delight of the Canadian supporters in the crowd.
Next up for Raonic is the ninth seed David Goffin of Belgium. The two players have only met a total of three times, with the Canadian winning two of the three matches. Raonic has never made it past the third round in Madrid.
Also in action on Wednesday morning was Gabriela Dabrowski, who lost her second round doubles match 6-4, 6-4.
Feature photo: Istanbul Open