Photo: Getty Images via ATP World Tour
Photo: Getty Images via ATP World Tour

Raonic in quarterfinals of Indian Wells after advancing in walkover

Milos Raonic will play in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells after advancing in a walkover.

Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus didn’t start the match on Wednesday night at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in California due to “stomach issues.” The player felt “disappointed” to leave without challenging Raonic after coming through the qualifiers and upsetting two higher ranked players, including world number 25 Diego Schwartzman.

The small break for Raonic arrives at a time when he’s looking to get back to his 2016 form after a difficult 2017, when he ended the season with injury concerns in October. Last year the 27-year-old was sidelined for more than a month after wrist surgery, then suffered a calf injury upon his return before shutting it down after the Tokyo Open.

This is the first time Raonic has reached an ATP World Tour quarterfinal since August 2017 when he was in the last eight at a Masters 500-level tourney in Washington, DC, losing to American Jack Sock. Three years earlier Raonic had won the title in DC.

In 2016 Raonic was a regular fixture in late rounds of big events. That year he peaked at number three in ATP world rankings, and at Indian Wells made it all the way to the final before losing to the top ranked player at the time, Novak Djokovic.

This year Raonic will face American Sam Querrey in the quarterfinals on Friday. The players are similar in size and style and have a 2-2 playing record against each other, while Querrey also benefited from a walkover victory over Raonic in 2013. The last time they met was in the grass courts of Wimbledon in 2016 where Raonic won to make the semifinals of the grand slam.

Querrey, ranked 21st in the tour, beat Feliciano Lopez of Spain in the fourth round in singles, and is also still competing in men’s doubles.

Another Canadian who has reached the late rounds is Gabriela Dabrowski in women’s doubles with Chinese partner Xu Yifan. The pair have dropped just one set in three matches and will take on Hsieh Su-wei of Chinese Taipei and her Czech partner Barbora Strycova on Thursday.

Dabrowski and Xu won a tournament earlier this year in Sydney, and the Canadian also won in Doha with Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in reaching the top-10 in WTA doubles ranking.