Milos Raonic, a finalist at last year’s Wimbledon, has made the first step towards a return after defeating German Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets.
In a tight match from start to finish, Raonic was able to beat his opponent in just over two hours by scores of 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(4). This was the pair’s first time meeting internationally.
The first set started off fairly even, with Raonic unable to convert five break point opportunities. It ended with a tie-break that allowed the pride of Thornhill, Ontario native to take an early lead.
Raonic built off his momentum to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the second. The German, who reached a career-high ranking of number 44 this year, could only win two of his service games as Raonic went on to take the set.
The third set started off much like the second with Raonic getting an early break of Struff’s serve. However Struff fought back and broke Raonic in the 10th game to tie it at 5. They held serve through the next two games to push the set to another tie-break, won by Raonic.
Next up, Raonic will face Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny on Thursday. This will be their fourth time meeting, with Raonic currently holding a 2-1 record against the former top 10 player, now ranked 82nd. Youzhny’s victory came in their most recent meeting in St. Petersburg last September.
Vasek Pospisil also played in the men’s main draw on Tuesday, where he fell to world number 8 Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in just under two hours.
17-year-old Bianca Andreescu also faced a blow today in her Grand Slam debut losing 6-4, 6-3 to Slovakian Kristina Kucova in an hour and 10 minutes.
Raonic’s win makes him the second Canadian of the tournament to make it to Wimbledon’s second round, joining Françoise Abanda who was victorious in her first match in the women’s main draw on Monday.
Abanda will play in the second round on Wednesday against Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, who was the surprise winner of the French Open last month.