The world no. 4, Alexander ‘Sascha’ Zverev of Germany has fallen to Canadian Milos Raonic in straight sets 6-1 6-1 7-6(5). Raonic brought his big serve and the German just couldn’t compete, as anger and frustration got the better of him. Zverev lacked his usual energy and wasn’t chasing as many balls with his typical speed and feist.
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Photo: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 21: Milos Raonic of Canada plays a backhand in his fourth round match against Alexander Zverev of Germany during day eight of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Zverev broke in the opening game, and then couldn’t win any of the next games in the first set. Raonic dominated to win the set in 34 minutes.
Two double faults by Zverev in the first game brought up a triple break point for Raonic in the second set. He was able to break the world no. 4’s serve yet again. In the third game of this set, Zverev was finally able to hold his serve for the first time of the match. However, in his next service two more double faults brought up another triple break for Raonic, and whilst he saved one, another double fault from the German handed Raonic another break to lead 4-1.
German destroys his racquet
During the change of ends Zverev repeatedly smashed his racquet on the ground as he was sitting, completely destroying it. The release of frustration was unable to help him, as Raonic went on to win the next two games to take the second set.
In the third set, Zverev was able to hold his serve to love multiple times, but in the tenth game, Raonic got two match points on the Zverev serve. One of these match points was saved when Raonic returned a serve into the net. The other was saved after a 29 shot rally where Raonic had the open court to hit to, put he sent the ball into the net after playing particularly cautiously and passively.
The set was taken to a tiebreak, where Zverev took an early lead. However, Raonic pulled out his aggressive game again to win the match, closing it with a serve volley.
It is rare for the young German to have more double fault than aces, but in this match he had 10 double faults and only 6 aces. Raonic however, had 15 aces and only 1 double fault, as well as 45 winners.
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Photo: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 21: Alexander Zverev of Germany serves to Milos Raonic of Canada during day eight of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
The 21 year old made the quarter finals at the French Open last year, but has never gone better then that. After winning the ATP World Tour Finals at the conclusion of the 2018 season, he was looking to do better in grand slams. He even had Roger Federer backing him to go deep, but it just wasn’t to be for Zverev.
“I mean, look, I think we know how to win slams, Novak, Rafa, myself,” Federer said after his second-round win on Wednesday. “I think also with Sascha [Zverev] holding the World Tour Finals, I think it’s fair to say that even though he has not ripped through those slams yet, he will go deep this year definitely at one of them, maybe even here. We’ll see.”
But the world no. 4’s frustrations boiled over in his fourth-round clash with Milos Raonic.
Despite the early exit, Zverev will be climbing to a career-high ranking of world No.3 after the 2019 Australian Open due to Federer’s departure.
Raonic will next play either Borna Coric or Lucas Pouille in the quarter-finals.