January 26, 2015 / 9:39 AM / 3 years ago

Raonic reaches first Australian Open quarter-final

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Milos Raonic struck a blow for the next generation of male players by felling Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-7(7) 6-3 to reach his first Australian Open quarter-final on Monday.

Milos Raonic of Canada hits a return to Feliciano Lopez of Spain during their men's singles fourth round match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 26, 2015. REUTERS/Brandon Malone

Eighth seed Raonic became only the second Canadian to reach the last eight at Melbourne Park, nearly 50 years after Michael Belkin achieved the feat in 1968.

In a battle of big servers, Lopez coolly saved two match points in the fourth set tiebreak before sending the contest into a decider but double-faulted in the eighth game of the final set to hand Raonic the initiative.

Raonic closed it out on the third match point when Lopez pushed a shot wide. The Canadian advances to play the winner between top seed Novak Djokovic and Gilles Muller for a place in the semi-finals.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by John O'Brien

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