Milos Raonic was short of magic. His dream journey to the Australian has finished.
The Canadiens surrendered 6-4, 2-6, 3-6 and 4-6 before the Spaniard David Ferrer (No. 7) on Monday in the fourth round.
However, he left Melbourne head high. His list of conquests is well stocked for a player based on the qualifications. In previous rounds, he had paid large seeded Michael Llodra (No. 22) and Mikhail Youzhny (No. 10), with a lot of aces (21 and 31 respectively).
And all hopes are permitted to read. At 20, he has already matched the mark of Daniel Nestor (Wimbledon 1999) and Martin Laurendeau (U.S. International, 1988), only other Canadians to have finished in the top 16 of a Grand Slam.
Cons Ferrer, however, was more Raonic the same player at the beginning of the fortnight. The player himself has confessed, he was slowed by fatigue and statistics prove it. He finished with a total of 68 unforced errors (against only 10 for Ferrer) and has managed only 15 aces.
"My mind was ready to fight for every point, but my legs were less Raonic commented. The arm also. "
The giant of 1.95 m (6 ft. 5 in.) was still believed in his chances. Everything was possible, especially after a convincing first round. But Ferrer, who had been there, was waiting around the bend. He volunteered break point above break point (14 total, 5 converted) to complete quickly the other three innings.
Raonic do not start empty-handed from Melbourne. The Ontarian may have missed its chance for the quarterfinals, which no qualified in Australia has since Goran Ivanisevic in 1989, but it will make a giant leap in the standings. In the next publication of the ATP rankings, he will leave the 152nd step to entering the top 100.
His Australian experience also allowed him to make full experience, which will be useful for the rest of his career.
"There is much to learn today and what happened the last two weeks," said Raonic. I realize I'm not very far from the level to be reached in a fortnight, which is motivating. "
Without forcing Nadal
Ferrer did not celebrate his victory over Raonic long because the next challenge before him is enormous. He has an appointment with his compatriot and world number one Rafael Nadal, who was easily cleared by Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. Cilic, who reached the knockout stages for the fourth consecutive time, did not make any illusion, even if he fought for 2 h 31 min. Known for its quality server, the Croat has never found a bite on his first serves (55% successful). Her 48 unforced errors have also precipitated his fall.
Failing to be flamboyant, Nadal has avoided the errors (21 unforced errors). The Mallorcan has also been particularly sharp in net, where he won 94% of its approaches.
If he still has not conceded a single round in Melbourne, it is not free of doubts before facing Ferrer. His compatriot had pushed hard on the past, with two victories in five duels.
Nadal also has a painful memory of Australian quarterfinals. Last year it was at this stage he had to forfeit because of an injury to his right knee, which had paved the way for the final victory of Roger Federer.
Melbourne was preparing for a duel Robin Soderling - Andy Murray, but Alexandr Dolgopolov has played the spoilsport. To everyone's surprise, the Ukrainian has paid Soderling (No. 4) 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 in the fourth round.
Her recipe: Most aggressive, effective on first ball (79% trade won) and, more importantly, limited errors. Soderling, he has lost patience and has accumulated a whopping 51 unforced errors, more than double his opponent (23).
Dolgopolov, 46th player in the world, is reputed to be capable of the best and the worst. We saw the best against Soderling and it will still need the best cons his quarter-final opponent Andy Murray (No. 5).
The Briton, runner of the tournament last year, easily defeated Austria's Jurgen Melzer (No. 11) 6-3, 6-1, 6-1. Superior in all aspects of the game, he will put 1 h 43 min to finish his match. He keeps going: he has not lost a race since the beginning of the fortnight.