Milos Raonic gestures with his hand.

Photo : Peter Power

by Max Gao

American Mackenzie McDonald put an end to the fairytale run of hometown hero Milos Raonic on Thursday afternoon, defeating the last Canadian remaining in the singles draw 6-3, 6-3 in 69 minutes to advance to his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers.

The World No. 59, who had never won a main-draw match at this event in three previous appearances, has been on a tear this week in Toronto, defeating Asian Karatsev, No. 6 seed Andrey Rublev and now Raonic without dropping a set. He will now face Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

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Having split his first two meetings with Raonic, winning their last encounter in Shanghai in 2018, McDonald knew he needed to be dialled in from the start, taking advantage of a few loose errors to break in the opening game of the match. McDonald did well to protect his own serve, looking relatively untroubled in his own service games apart from saving two crucial break points in the fourth game.

Read also: Raonic Roars Past Tiafoe in Return to Toronto

The American picked up right where he left off after a one-hour rain delay, waiting for his opponent to commit a number of uncharacteristic unforced errors off his more favoured forehand wing. With Raonic feeling the pressure down a break, McDonald was handed the first set on a silver platter when the former World No. 3, who hit 52 aces in his first two matches combined, hit back-to-back double faults.

Raonic’s serving woes continued into the early stages of the second set, as another double fault gifted an early break to his much more solid opponent. Despite making some headway in his return games, especially in the seventh game, that break proved decisive for McDonald, who served out the match at love with his fifth ace.