It was quite the Canada Day at Wimbledon for Olympian Milos Raonic.
The 23-year old wished his Twitter followers a happy holiday prior to taking to the court in London and then ousted Japanese opponent Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in the fourth round to book his second successive Grand Slam quarterfinals appearance.
It was their only meeting on grass and Raonic’s first win over Nishikori in three attempts.
Raonic had reached the French Open final eight this spring before losing to eventual runner-up Novak Djokovic. The Canadian had another heavyweight lined up at this stage of the tournament in England but world number one Rafael Nadal fell victim to powerful 19-year old Australian wildcard Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.
This sets up a match between two big hitters in the quarters at Wimbledon.
Raonic pounded Nishikori with 35 aces, Kyrgios bewildered Nadal with 37; The Canadian hit 66 winners against the 10th seed, Kyrgios put 70 past Nadal.
When it comes to the stuff that turns heads, the average serve speed for Raonic was 125 miles per hour, topping the day at an astounding 141 mph. Kyrgios levelled out at 120 mph and reached up to speeds of 133 mph.
Last time a Canadian reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon was 1912. Before Raonic takes to the court to further his progress at the All England Club on Wednesday, the Canadian story on the women’s singles side will take shape with Eugenie Bouchard aiming to become the only woman to make the semifinals of three Grand Slams in 2014. Bouchard (13th seed) will face Wimbledon’s number nine Angelique Kerber, who upset the legendary Maria Sharapova in three sets on Tuesday.
Bouchard recently beat Kerber at Roland Garros.
Over on the doubles courts there is more good news for Canadian tennis. Olympian Vasek Pospisil and his American partner Jack Sock have made it to the third round in men’s doubles, while Olympic champion Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic (Serbia) are in to the quarterfinals.
In mixed doubles, Nestor and French partner Kristina Mladenovic have advanced to the third round of the competition.