MELBOURNE, Australia – Canadian Milos Raonic lost a chance to play a second Grand Slam semifinal after losing 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-2 to Novak Djokovic Wednesday at the Australian Open.
The eighth seed, from Thornhill, Ont., was beaten by the top seed and world No. 1 for the fifth time in their career series. Djokovic beat the 24-year-old Raonic three times in 2014, including in a French Open quarter-final
Raonic, the 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist, ended with a modest 14 aces in the match lasting two hours.
The Canadian never earned a break point while losing his own serve three times. He recorded 31 winners to go with 36 unforced errors.
Raonic, who is now 0-5 against world No. 1 opponents, leaves Melbourne with a record of 14-5, making this his most successful major by the numbers.
The pair took 55 minutes to play their opening set on the Rod Laver Arena as the opener went into a tiebreaker. Raonic sent over his fifth ace for a 5-3 lead and eventually converted on a third set point.
The top seed quickly consolidated, breaking to start the second set, a margin which held up as the Serb swept the second set for a solid two-set lead.
It was the same story in the third set for Raonic, whose big game was neutralized by a fluid Djokovic attack. The Serb broke twice for a lead after Raonic saved a break point with his 14th ace.
Djokovic closed out victory on his second match point after a double-faults on the first. The win was his tenth without a loss against Canadian opponents.