Ex-champ Wawrinka knockedout of Australia Open

Raonic celebrates his victory

Raonic celebrates his victory

MILOS Raonic came through a titanic tussle with Stan Wawrinka as the Canadian won three tie-breaks on his way to a four-set victory in the Australian Open second round.

Former champion Wawrinka was given a nightmare draw, and an exhausting contest interrupted by rain saw Raonic prevail 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (13-11) 7-6 (7-5).

Wawrinka was not at his clinical best, allowing opportunities for his opponent, yet he still had a break in the fourth set but was not able to make it count.

The Canadian repeatedly served his way out of trouble, hitting 39 aces against an opponent armed with an elegant and destructive single-handed backhand.

Raonic raised his fists in triumph after his Swiss opponent misfired on his forehand on match point after four hours of intense play.

The 16th seed will play Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the third round.

Following his tight victory on Rod Laver Arena, Raonic admitted he would be heading straight for an ice bath, relieved to have got the better of a dangerous opponent.

“It’s hard to describe,” he said. “It felt like four hours passed in 15 minutes. In the heat of the battle, three of the four tie-breaks went my way. It could’ve gone the other way. But I’m very thankful for the atmosphere here.

“I needed to get to grips with his serve. It’s not fun to be on the receiving end of it and I’m also thankful that it was indoors as I like these conditions. I managed to make the most of it.”

Eurosport

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