Raonic, Bouchard reach round of 16 in Australia

Canadian tennis will have its two biggest names represented in the fourth round of the Australian Open, after Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard each advanced to second week of action.

In the first grand slam of 2015, both Raonic and Bouchard have displayed a ruthlessness that has the tennis world talking. Neither Canadian has dropped a set in the tournament.

Following his third round win over Germany’s Benjamin Becker 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, women’s tennis legend Billie Jean King (a 12-time grand slam champion) tweeted that Raonic “continues to improve in every way because he pushes himself to the limit. I’m impressed by how well he’s moving.”

Milos Raonic

Raonic has refused to be boxed in as a one-trick player with a big serve. He is increasingly more adventurous with marked improvement in mobility as King noted. She also jokingly wondered if Raonic would be available for mixed doubles play:

Feliciano Lopez will be Raonic’s opponent in the round of 16. The Spaniard is the tournament’s 12th seed. Raonic is seeded eighth at the Australian Open.

Bouchard made the jump to the fourth round a day earlier knocking out Caroline Garcia of France 7-5, 6-0. Standing in her way to the quarterfinals is Romanian Irinia-Camelia Begu. The match will take place on Saturday evening.

Eugenie Bouchard

The Australian Open clearly puts Bouchard at ease. Her now-global following called “Genie Army” originated in Australia, where she reached the semifinal of the grand slam in 2014, signaling to the world that she was ready to join the women’s tennis elite in only her second season as a pro.

Should things continue to progress for the Canadian duo, giants await them in the quarterfinals. World number one Novak Djokovic is in Raonic’s bracket, while the second ranked Maria Sharapova could stand in Bouchard’s way.

It wasn’t all good news out of Australia, however, as Vasek Pospisil – struggling through injury – lost his singles third round match to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 6-4, 6-4. Earlier, he had retired from a doubles match. Staying with doubles, Daniel Nestor with Indian partner Rohan Bopanna suffered a shock early exit in the second round. At time of writing, Gabriela Dabrowski was still competing in the women’s doubles and Nestor, with French partner Kristina Mladenovic, will be looking to defend their mixed doubles title.

All singles matches involving Canadian players, along with much of the tournament is being broadcast live on TSN.