Canadian No. 1 Milos Raonic kicked off his Australian Open campaign – his first ranked inside the Top 10 – with a straight sets victory and will now look to add to his quest and reach the third round with a victory over America’s Donald Young. This marks the third time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour with Raonic leading the Head to Head series 2-0.
Raonic, who was up against Illya Marchenko in his opening match in Melbourne, managed to cement his place in the second round with a straight sets win against the Ukrainian. He defeated Illya 7-6(3), 7-6(3), 6-3, hitting 30 aces, 91% of his first service points and 48 winners in the process.
“It was what I needed it to be, especially with how well I served, I probably should have stepped up and taken a few more risks on the return games. I felt at some points I got a little monotone with my game and I sort of stooped into a not-so-effective game plan especially on the return side. Other than that, it was what I needed it to be for a first round.”
The Canadian will come up against Donald Young, who eased into the second round with a four-set win against Germany’s Tim Puetz. The American hit 7 aces, won 80% of his first service points and 7 winners to close out the match in 2 hours and 13 minutes.
“I know Donald because I’m a year younger than him,” said Raonic. “He was sort of the poster boy of the way everybody sort of wanted their junior career to go. I knew him from that sense. I remember, I think it was Junior Davis Cup at the time, Key Biscayne, I was playing under-14, I would go over to watch him play against Bester and Polansky. I definitely followed because there were a lot of tags and labels on him. I definitely was aware of sort of what happened, then what he sort of went through. There’s always been a big spotlight on him.”
This marks the third time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour with Raonic leading the series 2-0. Both wins took place last season – the first at in the Washington semi-finals and the second in Basel. Young was able to snatch a set off Raonic in their most recent encounter and is more than capable of making this another tough match for the in-form Raonic.
Prediction: Milos Raonic in Four Sets