De Minaur stuns Raonic
Originally published on 03/01/18 00:00
The 18-year-old from Sydney, a wildcard entry, had little trouble returning his opponent’s booming serve as he netted the biggest win of his life – much to the delight of the capacity crowd inside the Pat Rafter Arena.
De Minaur, watched by Australia’s Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt, was composed under pressure and dropped serve just once. It was Raonic’s first match since limping out of the Japan Open in October, and he looked far from convincing on his return.
“I honestly can’t believe it,” said the world No.208, after his outstanding performance. “It’s going to take a while for me to believe what’s happened just now.
“I was going to come out here, compete my hardest and give it my all and I actually ended up playing an unbelievable match.”
Raonic was magnanimous in defeat and accepts there will be bumps in the road as he plots his way back to the top of the game. "I've had some time to really figure things out and hopefully find some answers to the big question of how to stay healthy," explained the Canadian post-match.
"I feel good. I feel like I'm taking all the right steps forward. Obviously, time can only tell if I have come up with the right approaches, the right methods and the things that are going work for me."
Earlier in the afternoon, Nick Kyrgios overcame an injury scare to get the better of Matthew Ebden 6-7(3) 7-6(5) 6-2. The 22-year-old appeared to be struggling with a left knee problem, but it did not prevent him from advancing to the quarter-finals.
Alexandr Dolgopolov enjoyed a thumping 6-1 6-2 success over Horacio Zeballos and will play Kyrgios in the last eight. Qualifier Michael Mmoh, ranked No.175 in the world, upset the No.8 seed, Mischa Zverev, 6-2 5-7 6-4.