After being handed a smooth draw through the first week of the 2015 Australian Open, Novak Djokovic will come under the threat of losing his first set of the tournament when he faces Canada’s Milos Raonic in the quarter-final stage. This marks the third time that the two competitors will meet on the professional circuit, with the Djokovic – Raonic Head to Head standing at 3-0 – all three of which took place last season.
Up against the top-ranked player on te ATP Challengers circuit, Novak Djokovic took part in a reasonably competitive affair against Gilles Muller, defeating the former junior world no.1 in straight sets 6-4, 7-5, 7-5. Djokovic hit 47 winners, 15 aces, and won 82% of his first service points to maneuver into the final eight in Melbourne.
“I haven’t dropped a set, I’m in the quarterfinals. Yes, I had tough matches the last two rounds, but I had quality opponents. I think I dropped serve only once during the whole tournament. That is a very encouraging fact. I have to motivate myself and obviously use the off days to work on a few things. There are a few things I think I can do better. Overall it’s a positive feeling going into the quarters.”
While Djokovic’s path to the quarter-finals was a simple one, his opponent Milos Raonic was forced to contest a five-set match against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez. The Canadian eventually edged out the victory 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-3 to set up his match-up with Djokovic. While the Canadian is aware that he is up against an opponent he has never beaten before, he expects to play a different match this time around.
“I think I’m doing things differently. I’m moving better. I feel like I have it within myself. I just got to bring it out. I’m going to, like always, focus on myself first, make sure that I get my things in order, get my things organized, play my game, then throughout the match make the adjustments I have to.”
Of their three previous meetings, all of which Djokovic won in convincing fashion, Raonic was only ever able to snatch one set in their first ever encounter at the Rome Masters. Djokovic later won their French Open encounter in straight sets, and, to the surprise of many, stormed past the Canadian in the Paris Bercy final 6-2, 6-3. Raonic will be hard-pressed to defeat Djokovic, but considering the Serb has lost in the quarter-finals thrice previously, he may have more of a chance here than many will give him credit for.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Four Sets