Raonic stuns former champion Wawrinka in Melbourne

Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:55am EST
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By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Milos Raonic fought off a spirited comeback from fourth seed Stan Wawrinka to send the 2014 champion crashing out of the fourth round of the Australian Open 6-4 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-3 on Monday.

The Canadian, who had never beaten the French Open champion in four previous meetings, fired 24 aces and hit 82 winners in the three hour, 44 minute contest to reach the quarter-finals for the second year in a row.

Raonic sealed the victory with a simple volley into an open court to set up a quarter-final against France's Gael Monfils, an appropriate end to a contest where he came to the net 83 times and won 54 points.

"I think it's about trying to play in your rhythm and dictating," world number 14 Raonic, who briefly reached as high as number four last year, said in an on-court interview.

"It's the next step for me to achieve the goals I want to achieve."

Swiss Wawrinka, who has been suffering from a cold, fought back to force a deciding set but was unable to avoid a grand slam exit before the quarter-finals for the first time since the 2014 French Open.

"Tough match in general," said Wawrinka. "I wasn't really feeling great, wasn't moving well. I fought as always but I'm surprised I made it five sets.

"I'm disappointed but I tried, I tried."   Continued...

Canada's Milos Raonic prepares to hit a shot during his fourth round match against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed