Raonic out of Wimbledon after tough five-set loss to Pella in fourth round

WIMBLEDON, England — Three years ago in the fourth round at Wimbledon, Canadian Milos Raonic came back from a two-sets-to-none deficit for the first time in his career to beat Belgium’s David Goffin in five sets.

On Monday, Raonic found himself on the losing side of a strikingly similar scenario when he was defeated after leading two sets to none in the fourth round at Wimbledon by Argentina’s Guido Pella. It’s the first time in his career that Raonic has lost a match after winning the first two sets.

The 28-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., bowed out 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3), 8-6 to Pella, a player seven months older than Raonic who, in 12 years as a pro, had never advanced beyond the third round of any Grand Slam tournament. Now he’s in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Raonic said he simply ran out of gas.

“I wasn’t efficient and wasn’t able to play the way I needed to,” said Raonic, who fired 33 aces among his 80 winners and won 74-of-110 points at the net. ”He started getting in more points and I had to find a way to create like I did early on in the match.”

As the match went on, Pella found his range and started landing his returns at Raonic’s feet far more often. The resulting volleys were difficult ones, and Raonic couldn’t make enough of them.

It had to have helped that Pella faced — and defeated — another big server in the previous round in No. 4 seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

Raonic had neither the energy nor the inclination to try to hold firm at the baseline with a clay-court player happy to engage in long rallies. And he was struggling to win points at the net. So his options were limited.

Despite his physical woes , Raonic still had every chance to win. He served for the match in the third set, but was broken.

And in the fifth set he saved three match points. But the Canadian couldn’t save the fourth.

“I was serving significantly slower as the match went on,” Raonic said. ”I just didn’t have that push in my legs to serve with the same sort of conviction and to keep him guessing. … I became a bit predictable. I started going to a few serves that maybe take a little bit more slice and not going for the flat or aggressive ones that I would normally need to use much more.”

This was the first five-set match Raonic had played since the U.S. Open last summer, and only his second since he defeated Alexander Zverev in the fourth round at the All-England Club a year ago.

“It’s frustrating. It’s twice this year,” Raonic said. “I ran out of gas in Australia (in the quarter-finals against Lucas Pouille of France) and ran out of gas here. That happened to me a few times early in my career, and I thought it was unacceptable, and I think of it exactly the same way now.”

But he wouldn’t ascribe the lack of endurance to the lack of match play because of his back injury. Rather, Raonic said he would re-assess what he’s been doing on the physical side.

“I think I had enough weeks at home to train, to do fitness. I just have to review what I did well and more importantly what I didn’t,” he said. “I feel like I have been making a few blunders on those decisions and how I spend my time when I have been training. I think that all needs to be put into consideration.”

The other Canadians in action Monday were more successful.

Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and her Chinese partner Yifan Xu avenged a heartbreaking loss to Yingying Duan and Saisai Zheng of China in the quarterfinals of the French Open by defeating them 7-5, 6-3.

The pair, seeded fourth, advanced to the quarterfinals of the ladies’ doubles before Dabrowski and partner Mate Pavic of Croatia even began their mixed doubles campaign.

The pair, seeded third, had a bye in the first round.

On Monday evening, they faced the unseeded but well-decorated team of Jamie Murray and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round.

Play was suspended because of darkness at 3-4 in the third set with Murray and Mattek-Sands about to serve to try to even things up. Dabrowski and Pavic had led the third set 3-1. They will resume on Tuesday.

In the junior event, Liam Draxl of Newmarket, Ont. advanced to the second round of the boys singles with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over British wild card Jack Pinnington-Jones.

Draxl, a 17-year-old who committed to the University of Kentucky last October and will start there this fall, is the No. 12 seed.

There are no Canadians in the juniors girls’ events.

French Open junior girls singles champion Leyla Annie Fernandez decided to skip the grass-court junior tournaments. Instead, she is competing in a $25,000 International Tennis Federation professional event in Saskatoon this week.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New post-secondary funding model in Alberta tied to performance measures

CALGARY — Alberta’s new funding model for post-secondary institutions ties some of… Continue reading

Trudeau to meet potential bridge-builder Pallister during cabinet retreat

WINNIPEG — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet today with the least… Continue reading

Two-vehicle collsion near Penhold

Sunday collision blocked intersection

Rising inequality eroding trust in capitalism – survey

DAVOS, Switzerland — Rising income inequality is undermining confidence in capitalism around… Continue reading

Google CEO calls for regulation of artificial intelligence

LONDON — Google’s chief executive called Monday for a balanced approach to… Continue reading

WATCH: Canadian kid shovelling snow video goes viral

Rory might just be Canada’s most popular toddler right now, thanks to… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Poll suggests some don’t think Canada should send troops to stop genocide

OTTAWA — A new poll suggests there are some in this country… Continue reading

Former 1,500 specialist Elmore likely Tokyo-bound after breaking marathon mark

When Malindi Elmore reinvented herself as a marathon runner a year ago,… Continue reading

Canada’s Shapovalov upset by Fucsovics in first round of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Denis Shapovalov lost a lengthy four-set match with… Continue reading

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

LONDON — Prince Harry took aim at the journalists who have dissected… Continue reading

‘Parasite’ parties, Leo greets young fans inside SAG Awards

LOS ANGELES — Off-camera and during commercials, the stars at the Screen… Continue reading

Hikers rescued after frigid night on Eagle Mountain in Coquitlam, B.C.

COQUITLAM, B.C. — Five hikers stranded on Eagle Mountain in Coquitlam, B.C.,… Continue reading

SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX completed the last big test of its… Continue reading

Most Read