One of the four quarter-final match-ups scheduled to take place on the men’s draw is between world No. 6 Milos Raonic and Italian No. 1 Fabio Fognini. This is just the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Raonic leading the head-to-head series 1-0.
Canada’s Milos Raonic survived a rollercoaster match to defeat Steve Johnson and secure his spot in the quarter-final round of the tournament. He lost the opening set tiebreak, won the second set with a break of his own before serving up three double faults on match point to allow Johnson an opportunity to push the match to a deciding tiebreak.
While it was a tentative showing at times, Raonic hit a remarkable 30 aces and won 93% of his first service points en route to a well earned victory in 2 hours and 13 minutes.
“I think it was one of my better, for lack of a better word, complications,” said Raonic. “I really didn’t escape from too much. He was getting ahead a few times, but never sort of clearing the distance. It was me sort of complicating it with the game serving when I had match point in the game before.”
Next for Raonic is Italy’s Fabio Fognini, who also rallied from a set down to defeat Yen-Hsun Lu 3-6,6-3,6-3. Fognini hit 6 aces, won 84% of his first service points and saved 9 out of 10 break points he faced during the encounter.
The last time these two competitors met on the professional tour was during the second rubber of a 2013 Davis Cup tie, which saw Raonic beat the No. 1 ranked Italian in three close sets. He has since risen in the ranking and has improved his game even further while Fognini has stagnated following his successful 2013 season.
Prediction: Milos Raonic in Straight Sets