Milos Raonic got back on track in the 2018 tennis season on Sunday in Indian Wells at the expense of a rising star in an all-Canadian encounter.
Raonic won his second round match over 17-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4. It’s his second win of the year, as the Canadian looks to regain form after an injury-plagued 2017.
The match began with Auger-Aliassime playing through a nervous opening game where Raonic pounced for an early break. The teenager quickly recovered to break back and remained on serve after saving the next break point he faced. Raonic got the all-important break at 4-4 and served out the opening set to take the early lead.
The second set started similarly with Auger-Aliassime broken again, but this time Raonic consolidated to put Aliassime into a hole from which the youngster wouldn’t recover. Both men held serve rest of the way, and although Raonic faced three break points in his attempt to close out the match in the final game, he eventually overcame the challenge to close out the match.
The win sets up a third round clash against either Joao Sousa of Portugal, or German Alexander Zverev, who is another young, exciting talent in men’s tennis at the age of 20.
Auger-Aliassime advanced to the second round after beating another Canadian, Vasek Pospisil, in his opening round match after both players qualified for the prestigious ATP Masters 1000 level tournament in California.
Raonic, 27, had a first round bye, and is the only Canadian men’s player remaining in singles. He is in the bottom half of the draw where Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic was defeated by Taro Daniel of Japan in a major upset on Sunday.