Tennis  

Raonic storms into Aussie quarter-finals

Canada's Milos Raonic hits a return against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut during their men's singles fourth round match on day eight of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GREG WOOD /

Canada’s Milos Raonic hits a return against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut during their men’s singles fourth round match on day eight of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GREG WOOD /

Third seed Milos Raonic charged home to claim a quarter-final spot at the Australian Open with a fluctuating four-set win over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday.

Raonic had early problems before he recovered under a closed roof to win 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 against the 13th-seeded Bautista Agut in two hours, 52 minutes on Hisense Arena.

The big-serving Canadian will face either 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal or French sixth seed Gael Monfils in the last eight.

He is 3-3 in career matches with Monfils, but trails Nadal 6-2 in their previous meetings.

It is the third straight year Raonic has reached the quarter-finals in Australia, and it is also his sixth quarter-final at a major, the most by any Canadian player.

Raonic, who stretched his record to 5-0 over the Spaniard, served up 33 aces but also had his issues with his serve as he was broken three times, along with nine double faults.

Raonic saved a break point at 4-4 in the third set with a blistering forehand winner, and Bautista Agut double-faulted in the following game to give the Canadian a break and set point.

Raonic then went on a run of seven games as the stadium roof was closed because of rain, changing the complexion of the match as the Canadian’s serve dominated.



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