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.
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