Milos Raonic beats Denis Shapovalov in battle of Canadians in Cincinnati

Milos Raonic (Wikimedia Commons)

Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ontario beat Denis Shapovalov of Toronto, Ontario 7-6, 6-4 in the third round of the Western and Southern Open on Thursday. It was only the second time that Raonic had ever played Shapovalov on the ATP Tour with the first time on May 10 in the third round of the Madrid Masters with Shapovalov beating Raonic 6-4, 6-4.

It was a significant win for Raonic, who won key points in the first set tiebreak and then bounced back by winning the final game of the second set. Shapovalov meanwhile showed some resiliency as he was once down 4-1 in the second set before winning a stretch of three straight games.

Raonic will now be up against a player he has had no luck against in the past. His quarterfinal opponent will be the 10th ranked and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia. All-time, Djokovic is 8-0 against Raonic, with their last meeting coming at the 2016 ATP Finals where Djokovic won 7-6, 7-6 indoors in London.

Raonic will have a scheduling advantage against Djokovic on Friday. That is because Djokovic needed to complete his third set from his third round match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria earlier Friday morning, while Raonic beat Shapovalov on Thursday afternoon. Djokovic won 6-4 to meet Raonic. The other three quarterfinal matches have Roger Federer against Stanislas Wawrinka in an all-Switzerland matchup, Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina against David Goffin of Belgium and Marin Cilic of Croatia against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain.

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