Raonic continues to advance in Madrid as other Canadians struggle
The consistency of Milos Raonic continues unabated, while other Canadians struggled at the Madrid Open this week.
The Spanish stop is one of the big tournaments on clay ahead of Roland Garros, where the French Open begins later this month. The Madrid Open is a Masters 1000 tournament on the men’s side and a Premier event for the women’s tour.
Raonic is through to the third round of the men’s singles in the Spanish capital, beating Thomaz Bellucci (Brazil) 7-6 (4), 6-1 and Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukraine) 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-2. His next opponent will be a tough one with either Albert Ramos or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The top Canadian – ranked 10th in the ATP world rankings – has reached at least the quarterfinals in all five of his tournaments this year. A win over Ramos or Tsonga would ensure a sixth consecutive trip to a final eight this season.
Vasek Pospisil’s singles run ended in the opening round against Radek Stepanek. The Czech veteran beat the Canadian 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-4. Pospisil will continue to play in Madrid in men’s doubles, receiving a bye in the first round with American partner Jack Sock.
Pospisil’s second round doubles opponent would’ve been Canadian Daniel Nestor playing with Stepanek, but the pair lost its opening tilt to Treat Huey (Philippines) and Max Mirnyi (Belarus) 6-4, 6-4.
Eugenie Bouchard lost her opening match in women’s singles to Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu, who triumphed 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. The Romanian is in tremendous form, mowing through world number four Garbine Muguruza (Spain) in the second round and American Christina McHale in the third to book a quarterfinal spot in Madrid.
In women’s doubles Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada with Australian partner Anastasia Rodionova couldn’t upset Muguruza with her countrywoman Carla Suarez Navarro. The Spanish duo – likely working together for a potential Olympic partnership at Rio 2016 – was victorious 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the first round.
With Olympic tennis on the horizon this summer, and Raonic singling that tournament out as one of his priorities, Canadians will be keen to see his progress, while hoping others also begin to peak at the right time.
While Raonic keeps going in Spain, other top Canadians will have a chance to regain their form at the Italian Open, which begins next week. It’ll be the final big tune-up prior to the French Open at Roland Garros.
Rio 2016 tennis will be played on hard court. Here’s a look at the Olympic Park in Barra, including the tennis grounds: