MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Canada’s Milos Raonic overcame Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut after suffering flu-like symptoms a few days ago, to advance to the quarter finals of the Australian Open.
Raonic earned a 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Bautista-Agut in the fourth round on Monday.
“I had a rough last 48 hours, but I got my energy up today much more,” said Raonic, who had had a fever and an aching body. “I can sometimes get winded a little bit quicker, but that’s improving.”
The World No. 3 Raonic, who reached the semifinals in Melbourne last year before losing to Andy Murray, reached the quarter finals for the third year in a row. It was the big-serving Canadian’s fifth straight win in five matches against Agut. Raonic’s power game overcame Bautista Agut, who likes to try and push the tempo, much like his previous opponent Simon.
In the days other match, Grigor Dimitrov also booked his place in the Australian Open quarter-finals for the second time in three years.
The No. 15 seed ended the run of Novak Djokovic’s conqueror, World No. 117 and wild card Denis Istomin, 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-1 in two hours and 24 minutes at Melbourne Park. The Bulgarian remains unbeaten at 9-0 in 2017 – including winning his fifth ATP World Tour title at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp (d. Kei Nishikori).
Dimitrov capitalised on a hot day in Melbourne by striking 37 winners and winning 72 per cent of his approaches to the net against Uzbekistani Istomin, who received medical treatment on several occasions for a back complaint. He will next play Belgian No. 11 seed David Goffin, who beat Austrian eighth seed Dominic Thiem earlier in the day.
Istomin, the Asia-Pacific wild card play-off winner into the major championship, was brimming with confidence at the start, committing just three unforced errors and dropping five points on serve in the first set. He would have broken early in the second set, but Dimitrov fought back and Istomin began to fatigue.
Istomin, 30, attempted to keep the points short, but his service power diminished and Dimitrov won 12 of the first 13 points in the third set, and then, later, 19 of 22 points to take a 3-0 lead in the fourth set.
The 25-year-old Dimitrov has never lost to a player ranked outside of the Top 100 at a Grand Slam and will now hope to improve upon his 2014 quarter-final run.
David Goffin, the No. 11 seed, moved into his first Australian Open quarter-final on Monday, scoring a hard-fought 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-2 win in Melbourne over eighth seed Dominic Thiem.
The win marked a repeat victory for the Belgian, who also defeated Thiem in the third-round of the 2016 Australian Open. Goffin improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry against Thiem to 5-3.
“I’m tired, but feeling so happy. It was a really good match,” said Goffin. “I’m so happy that I found my way to find a solution in the second set. I served really well and then played two really good sets in the third and fourth.”
Next up for Goffin is No. 15 seed Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Denis Istomin in four sets. Dimitrov lead 1-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but they haven’t played since the 2014 US Open.
“I will be focused on the match, not on the consequences if I win or lose,” said Goffin. “Dimitrov has won everything. He started the year really well and was really solid this week.”
The first set was punctuated by difficulty holding serve, with Goffin and Thiem’s strong returns producing five breaks in 12 games. But it was the Austrian who grabbed the critical break of serve at 5-5 and then comfortably held to love in the next game to grab the early lead.
Both players traded service holds throughout the second set, but Thiem fought off four set points on his serve at 4-5. Goffin remained mentally tough and raced to a 3/0 lead in the tie-break, holding his slight advantage to level the match at one set each.
Goffin appeared energised at capturing the second set and continued to relentlessly retrieve difficult shots from Thiem in the baseline exchanges. Meanwhile, the eighth seed struggled to find his range, hitting 16 winners to 30 unforced errors in the final two sets.
The Belgian broke Thiem twice in both the third and fourth sets, but saved his best tennis for the final stages of the match. Goffin ripped 12 winners to just three unforced errors in the fourth set, convincingly serving out the match on his first attempt to wrap up the win in two hours and 43 minutes.