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Melbourne | Raonic power surprises Tsitsipas

Melbourne | Raonic power surprises Tsitsipas

Following the news that two of the favourites in the women’s draw had been ousted before the weekend, Stefanos Tsitsipas emulated their exits going out in straight sets to a rejuvenated Milos Raonic.

I felt a bit stupid returning his serves. I felt like I was slow. My anticipation was not there Stefanos Tsitsipas

It was a surprising loss by the sixth seed who was amongst those expected to be in contention for the title and is still expected to be the first of the NextGen contingent to do so.

On this occasion he was unable to deal with Raonic’s power and more specifically his serve (19 aces) and was eventually slumped to a 7-5 6-4 7-6(2) defeat.

Expectations were high for the 21-year-old Greek star, who stunned Roger Federer in 2019 on his way to the final four before going on to win titles in Marseille and Estoril and the end of season ATP Finals at the O2.

Raonic had done his homework and kept the youngster at bay never allowing him to take up a more aggressive approach.

“Today was an incredible match for me. I’m really happy with how things went,” said Raonic.

“I enjoy the energy here. To be healthy and playing well, I take a lot of pleasure out of that.”

Raonic’s career though, has been blighted by injuries over the past few years in cluding foot, wrist, back, ankle, calf and knee!

Meanwhile Tsitsipas could not come up with an explanation for his dramatic loss.

“It’s quite difficult.” Tsitsipas said. “He’s playing forehands from all over the court, and you don’t really know where you should stand exactly because he’s just so fast and just turning around, hitting those forehands.

“His serve is great, one of the best in the game.”

He added: “Myself, I felt a bit stupid returning his serves. I felt like I was slow. My anticipation was not there.”

Asked if he was suffering from any physical problems he was adamant that everything was OK.

“I’m feeling okay. I think also with my experience last year, I had burnout twice during the year, and I found kind of a balance how to manage that and sustain and play at the same level that I have been playing. So I think it all comes with experience,” concluding: “My body is pretty good. I don’t have anything bothering me.”

Tsitsipas is the third top 10 seed to exit the men’s draw in Melbourne.

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