Photo : Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour
Milos Raonic, the last male Canadian player left in the draw of the Miami Open Presented by Itau, was ousted this Tuesday afternoon by the No. 26 seed Hubert Hurkacz in a tough three-setter, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4). Hurkacz, who also beat Denis Shapovalov in the previous round, put an end to Raonic’s quest to win his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy, and moves to only his second quarter-final at this level.
On a quiet afternoon on Court No. 1 in Miami, Raonic enjoyed a relatively straightforward first set with an early break over Hurkacz and routine service games. Raonic’s unforgiving first serve made his opponent uncomfortable and continuously opened up the space for the Canadian’s deadly forehand.
Showing great hands at the net, the 30 year old kept moving an increasingly frustrated Hurkacz around the court, as Raonic put volleys and smashes away time and time again.
While the 6’5” former World No. 3’s first serve was not as effective as in previous rounds, going in only at 54% of the occasions, Raonic still placed an ace out wide at 40-15 to seal the first set, 6-4. With 80% of the rallies going under 5 shots, it was right in the comfort zone for the Canadian, who typically likes to keep points quick.
In the second set, however, a poor service game with costly errors from Raonic granted Hurkacz his first break of the match. With the momentum completely on Hurkacz’s side of the net, the Polish player started moving better and being more aggressive, frustrating Raonic even more as the Canadian comitted more unforced errors.
A tight Hurkacz then served to send the match into a deciding set, as Raonic tried to hit past him with mixed success. Finally, on an awkward forehand return from the Ontarian that sailed wide, Hurkacz was able to close out the second set, 6-4.
With his back immediately against the wall at the beginning of the final set, Raonic made sure to keep his head in the game and aced his way through break-points to hold in the very first game.
Proceedings followed with very few chances for a break as both players dominated on their service games. In the inevitable tie-break at the end of the match, Hurkacz dealt better with the pressure as he crossed the finish line on his third match point, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), to end Raonic’s tournament in Miami.
With Bianca Andreescu’s win on a Monday night thriller and Gaby Dabrowski’s straightset win with her partner Giuliana Olmos just a few hours before Raonic’s match, Canadian fans can still look forward to more Canadian action in Miami this week.