Serb beats the serve, Djokovic over Raonic at Australian Open

The best run of Milos Raonic’s young career at the Australian Open came to a close in the quarterfinals to world number one Novak Djokovic.

Raonic, Canada’s top ranked men’s singles tennis player and a London 2012 Olympian, admits there isn’t much one can do to beat Djokovic when he is in such form. The Serbian came out on top Wednesday in Melbourne 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-2.

Raonic took Djokovic to the limit in the first set and with a favourable career tiebreak record (118-69 coming into the tournament) helped by a big serve, might’ve cost Djokovic trouble but the Canadian committed four unforced errors and couldn’t pull it off. Such is Djokovic’s dominance, he has yet to drop a set at this year’s tourney and has lost just one service game heading into the semifinals.

“It obviously has an importance,” Raonic said of the opening set. “I think we’re both at an experienced level where we can find our way around. I don’t think it’s a deciding factor. I just think it gave him a bit more belief, and he didn’t allow me to organize my game.”

Djokovic and Raonic shake after the match (photo: Australian Open).

Djokovic and Raonic shake after the match (photo: Australian Open).

The rest of the match was fairly efficient for Djokovic, concluding the second and third sets in 33 and 31 minutes respectively.

“I just wish I could have played better,” Raonic said. “I think (Djokovic) played well. He took the game and opportunities away from me. I think he just played a sound match. Nothing I can do other than go back and fix things.”

Raonic, consistently a top 10 world player in what some experts have called the most competitive men’s tennis era in history (at least at the top end), has been able to mix it up against the best recently. A win over Federer last season and victory against Kei Nishikori this year has him closing in on the perceived elites of the game. He knows he can get there, and despite a one-sided match like Wednesday’s, Raonic had a simple message:

“Everything will be okay.”

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