Milos Raonic withdraws from Hong Kong

Milos Raonic will not compete in the first week of 2024

by Jovica Ilic
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Milos Raonic withdraws from Hong Kong
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Former world no. 3 Milos Raonic withdrew from Hong Kong, delaying the start of 2024. The Canadian has played only one match after the US Open, and we should wait and see his Australian Open decision. Milos took a break from tennis in the summer of 2021, staying away from the court for almost two years before returning in s-Hertogenbosh this June.

Raonic scored one Wimbledon victory and two at the home Canada Masters. Milos entered the US Open and faced the 7th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening round. The Greek and the Canadian met at Louis Armstrong Stadium, and the better-ranked player scored a 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 triumph in an hour and 56 minutes.

Raonic served at 46% and plagued his chances, struggling behind the second serve and hitting eight double faults. Stefanos created 14 break chances and seized five to control the scoreboard, dropping 21 points in his games and saving two out of three break points.

Milos Raonic will not start the season in Hong Kong.

Tsitsipas hit 25 winners and 20 unforced errors, taking advantage of the opponent's 48 unforced mistakes. Milos had a chance to prolong the battle, delivering his only break in the third set and leading 4-2 before dropping the next four games.

Stefanos worked hard at 1-1 in the opener, saving two break points and remaining on the positive side. Milos hit a double fault in the fourth game, losing serve and falling 3-1 behind. The Canadian lost serve again in the eighth game, allowing the Greek to take the opener 6-2 after 34 minutes.

Raonic struggled again at 0-1 in the second set, hitting a double fault and facing a break point. He saved it with an unreturned serve and stayed in touch. Tsitsipas pushed strong on the return at 4-3, earning three break chances and seizing the last after Raonic's loose forehand.

Stefanos held at love at 5-3, building a massive advantage after an hour and 13 minutes. Raising his level, Milos produced three fine holds in the third set and forced Stefanos' mistake in game six for a 4-2 advantage. Tsitsipas pulled the break back in game seven, reducing the deficit and holding in the next one for 4-4.

The ninth game presented the most extended battle, and the Greek created six break points, eager to seal the deal. The Canadian hit a wayward forehand on the sixth, falling 5-4 behind and allowing his rival to serve for the victory.

Stefanos clinched the tenth game in style, firing an ace and moving over the top. Raonic played for Canada at the Davis Cup Finals in November, beating Patrick Kaukovalta in straight sets.

Milos Raonic
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