Milos Raonic follows through on a forehand. He lost to Jannik Sinner in Rotterdam.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

Milos Raonic was in the midst of his best run in years when injury struck during his clash with Jannik Sinner in the Rotterdam quarter-finals. 

After dropping a tight opening set against the Australian Open champion in a tiebreak, Raonic was forced to retire early in the second set with an injury. He had received treatment midway through the first set. 

Up until the withdrawal, the match had been highly competitive, with Raonic even having set points before Sinner snuck it out in a tiebreak. The Italian ended up being handed his 200th tour-level win by a score of 7-6(4), 1-1 ret. 

In just seven service games, Raonic fired 11 aces. While both men broke serve once, Raonic had more looks with four break points, of which Sinner saved three. The Canadian had 19 winners to his opponent’s 11, but also 18 unforced errors. 

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Raonic set the tone with a 233 KMH ace to start the match and won his first eight service points in a row. But in his third service game, Sinner got a few good returns in and Raonic misfired a forehand on break point to drop serve for the first time all week.  

However, the Australian Open champion was having a tough time finding a rhythm and gave Raonic a few free points in the following game to hand the break back. 

As the Italian served to stay in the set at 4-5, Raonic attacked, ripping a forehand winner to set up double break point. But Sinner was up to the challenge, using his lethal combination of big hitting and quick court coverage to erase the threat.  

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One point made the difference in the tiebreak as Sinner got the minibreak for a 3-2 lead, which turned out to be the only point to go against serve in the tiebreak.  

Raonic had received treatment at 4-3 in the first set, but that did not seem to affect his level. However, the injury proved too much early in the second set as the Canadian was forced to retire for the second tournament in a row after holding his opening service game of the set. 

RaIn the first two rounds, Raonic had defeated Jesper de Jong and eighth-seed Alexander Bublik, who had already beaten Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov earlier this year, each in straight sets.