Carol Zhao and Milos Raonic deliver upsets in the Netherlands

Carol Zhao (si.robi, Wikimedia Commons)

With the grass court season of the 2023 tennis season starting on Monday from s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, two Canadians pulled off upsets in the first round. In women’s action, Carol Zhao of Richmond Hill, Ontario, the 163rd ranked player in the world, defeated Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium, the 92nd ranked player in the world, 7-6, 7-6. Then in men’s action, Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ontario, who is unranked as he has not played in almost two years, defeated the 39th ranked player in the world and fifth seed in s-Hertogenbosch, Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia, 6-3, 6-4,

Zhao won the first set tiebreak 7-3 and the second set tiebreak 7-4. Each player broke each other thrice, and both struggled with their serve. Zhao had 10 double faults and Bonaventure had 11 double faults. However, Zhao came out on top due to the fact she won the key points in the tiebreak.

For Zhao it was her second win in 2023 on the WTA Tour. She previously won a first round match in April over Maria Carle of Argentina in Colombia, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6. Zhao next plays the number one seed in s-Hertogenbosch, and 10th ranked player in the world, Veronika Kudermetova of Russia, the 2022 French Open quarterfinalist. This will be their first meeting head-to-head.

Raonic meanwhile had not won an ATP match since beating Ugo Humbert of France 6-4, 7-5 in the third round of the 2021 Miami Masters. Since then he has suffered from multiple injuries. They include injuries to his Achilles, big toe, and calf. He also had a severe bout of COVID along the way. On Monday, Raonic used his serve to perfection. He had 15 aces to advance to the second round where he will face Jordan Thompson of Australia, the 103rd ranked player in the world. Raonic won their only prior meeting, 6-2, 6-1, in the second round of the 2021 Miami Masters.


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