When Novak Djokovic apologized to Milos Raonic for leaving the court

by   |  VIEW 7980

When Novak Djokovic apologized to Milos Raonic for leaving the court

Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic battled at the 2020 Australian Open for the tenth time. Novak scored the tenth victory over Milos on Rod Laver Arena, beating the Canadian 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 in two hours and 49 minutes to advance into his eighth Australian Open semi-final.

Milos played well ahead of the Novak clash but could not repeat that against the Serb, still struggling to earn the first victory over his most formidable opponent. Djokovic created 16 break chances and seized only two, one in the first and second sets each.

Novak failed to seal the deal earlier, but he did enough in the third set's tie break to move over the top and set the 50th clash against Roger Federer. The Serb had 29 winners and 14 unforced errors, dominating the rallies and sealing the deal in straight sets.

The defending champion fended off a break chance in the opener's seventh game and kept the pressure on Milos, creating nine opportunities for a break and taking the last one for 6-4. Serving at 1-2, Milos repelled three break chances to avoid an early setback and survived another at 2-3 after Novak's backhand slice mistake.

The Canadian created a rare opportunity on the return in the game that followed, and the Serb saved it with a good serve to remain on the positive side. Milos fired an ace in the eighth game to survive and lock the result at 4-4 before facing more issues in game ten.

Novak finally clinched the break on the ninth chance, moving in front after 55 minutes and gaining a massive boost ahead of set number two. They both competed on a high level, hitting more winners than unforced errors. The advantage was on Djokovic's side after five good holds and one break on his tally.

The Serb forged the lead at 2-1 thanks to a forehand winner and held at love with a backhand down the line winner to cement the advantage and move 4-1 up.

Novak Djokovic had to change contact lenses against Raonic in Melbourne 2020.

The defending champion survived three deuces on serve in the seventh game and held at 15 at 5-3 with a service winner to open two sets to love lead after 100 minutes.

Raising his level in the third set, Milos delivered three easy holds and created a break chance in game two following Novak's backhand mistake. The Serb was not to be denied, though, erasing it with a service winner and holding with an ace to keep his serve intact.

Raonic played against four break points in the 11th game, saving them but dropping the tie break 7-1 to propel Djokovic over the finish line. After the third set's eighth game, Novak had to leave the court for a couple of minutes and change his contact lenses.

He apologized to Milos and the crowd for doing that outside the changeover, explaining he struggled with the sight in a previous couple of games and needed to replace the lenses as soon as possible. "I want to apologize to Milos once again because I had to leave the court outside the changeover break; you do not see that often, and I also apologize to the crowd as well.

It was not intentional or tactical; it was something that I just had to do because, in those few games, I could not see much and had to change my lenses," Novak Djokovic said.