Raonic overcomes first dropped set to advance to Aussie Open fourth round
Milos Raonic had a slight hiccup in his third round match against Frenchman Gilles Simon, but recovered to advance to the round of 16 with a 6-2, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3 victory.
The third-seeded Canadian, who has been dealing with what he referred to as a “bad fever”, lost his first set of the tournament to Simon, who for a moment looked like he could threaten to end Raonic’s run.
But Raonic got the break he needed in the sixth game of the fourth set to take a 4-2 lead before serving it out.
Early on, Raonic was on the same kind of roll that had gotten him to the meeting with Simon. The first set took just 28 minutes as Raonic broke the 25th seed in the fourth and eighth games. Unable to get a break in the second, Raonic prevailed in the tiebreak.
But he got into trouble in the third set. Up 3-2 after breaking Simon, he allowed the Frenchman to break right back and even the set. Simon took advantage of another break point opportunity in the eighth game as he won the last four games of the set to take it.
After going back to his chair muttering, Raonic refused to just give up, despite two days battling illness.
He got up 3-1 in the fourth before losing his serve one more time. However Raonic got that break right back and was able to hold on for the win. He’ll now focus on getting some rest to put himself as close to full capacity as possible before his fourth round meeting with 13th seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.
Raonic is the highest-ranked player remaining in the bottom half of the draw after 117th ranked wild card Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan eliminated six-time champion and world number two Novak Djokovic in the second round.