Canadian tennis sensations Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard ran into buzz-saws in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Both lost in straight sets and were overmatched from the start—Novak Djokovic downed Raonic 7–6, 6–4, 6–2 on Wednesday night in Australia while Maria Sharapova defeated Bouchard 6–3, 6–2 Tuesday afternoon.
Raonic ran into the No. 1 seed playing his best tennis. Djokovic didn’t give Raonic any hope, losing only 12 points on his own serve and never facing a break point. In fact, Djokovic has only been broken once in the tournament through the quarterfinal stage and has not dropped a set.
“Definitely no complaints,” said Djokovic in an on-court interview with ESPN after the match. “Overall, just a great match.”
The Serb exposed Raonic’s weaknesses at net and broke the Canadian’s serve three times. Raonic wound up committing more than double the number of unforced errors as his opponent (36–17).
“I wish I would have served better in certain moments, but I didn’t lose because of my serve,” said Raonic in his postmatch press conference.
“He just didn’t allow me to organize my game.
“He took the game and opportunities away from me. I think he just played a sound match. Nothing I can do other than go back and fix things,” said Raonic.
Raonic became only the second Canadian man to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals (Michael Belkin, 1968)
Djokovic acknowledged his good friend Raonic is one of the three players really challenging the elite of men’s tennis. Raonic is a firmly cemented in the top 10, but has only beaten one top-10 player in a grand slam to date.
“He’s one of the up and coming rising stars,” said Djokovic.
“I just wish I could have played better,” said Raonic. “Everything will be ok.”
Sharapova Too Strong for Bouchard
The problems started right off the bat for Bouchard, going down triple break point on her opening service game and getting broken.
“I feel like I didn’t start well, and it kind of all went downhill from there. It’s definitely easier when you have a good start to the match,” said Bouchard after the match.
She wound up committing 30 unforced errors and only hit 13 winners and was broken four times in her loss to No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova.
Bouchard’s record against top-five players fell to 1–9 and 0–4 against Sharapova.
Bouchard played the tournament without a coach and will have to make a decision on how to continue her 2015.
“I’m happy with the team I had here. I think we did okay, but it’s something I need to adjust,” she said.
After a busy start to the season, Bouchard is heading back home and will contemplate playing Fed Cup. Canada hosts the Czech Republic Feb. 7-8 in Quebec City.
Follow Rahul on Twitter @RV_ETSports