Greek young gun, Stefanos Tsitsipas continues his Australian Open campaign on Friday when he takes on big-serving Canadian, Milos Raonic in the third round.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Milos Raonic Match Info
Date: Friday January 24
Tournament: Australian Open R2
Court: Margaret Court Arena
Time: 7:00pm local time (8.00am GMT)
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Milos Raonic Head-to-Head
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Milos Raonic Match Preview
Tsitsipas has not played since the opening day of the tournament, when he romped to a 6-0 6-2 6-3 victory over Italian, Salvatore Caruso in the first round. The 21-year-old was scheduled to take on Philipp Kohlschreiber on Wednesday, but he earned a walkover into the third round after the German veteran withdrew drew to a muscle strain.
Tsitsipas famously made his Grand Slam breakthrough in Melbourne 12 months ago, when he reached the semi-finals; setting the stage for an outstanding season. The young gun ended the year with a big bang, winning his biggest career title at the Nitto ATP Finals. Before that, he had won titles in Marseille and Estoril, and made finals in Dubai, Madrid and Beijing. The Greek began 2019 outside the top-90, but he ended at No. 6, having reached a career-high No. 5 in an incredible campaign.
Tsitsipas opened the new season at the ATP Cup, where he went 1-2 in his singles matches. His only victory was against Alexander Zverev, while he fell on the wrong end of two very tight matches against Denis Shapovalov and Nick Kyrgios.
Prior to the 2020 Australian Open, the world No. 6 had lost his last three Grand Slam matches. He was beaten by Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round of last year’s French Open, while he suffered opening round defeats at Wimbledon and the US Open, falling to Thomas Fabiano and Andrey Rublev respectively.
He snapped that losing streak with an emphatic win over Caruso on Monday. The Greek lost only three points on his first serve, and didn’t concede a single break point throughout the match. He struck 27 winners and 16 unforced errors, and was 19 of 26 at the net.
He will be pushed a lot harder on Friday night, when he runs into former world No. 3, Milos Raonic.
Despite all the injury problems he’s had, Raonic has maintained a very consistent presence at the Australian Open.
The Canadian is competing in Melbourne for the 10th consecutive season, and he has now made the third round in all but one of those visits. The only time he fell before the Round of 32 was in 2018, when he lost to Lukas Lacko in the first round. The 29-year-old has reached at least the quarter finals of the Australian Open in four of the last five years.
Raonic has put together two solid wins this week, moving past Italian lucky loser, Lorenzo Giustino 6-2 6-1 6-3 in the first round, and scoring a more impressive 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Chilean, Cristian Garin in Round 2. Raonic struck 28 aces across those two matches, losing just seven points on his first serve. He is yet to be broken in this tournament, saving all three break points he faced against Garin. He did not offer any break chances in his first match against Giustino.
The former Wimbledon finalist will be hoping for a cleaner bill of health this year, after being held back by several injury problems in the last few seasons. Ranked No. 3 at the end of 2016, Raonic has ended two of the last three seasons outside the top-20, and was down at No. 31 at the end of 2019.
He made semi-finals at Indian Wells and Stuttgart, and quarter finals at the Australian Open, Brisbane and Queen’s, but he also spent a fair bit of time on the sidelines, notably missing Roland Garros and the US Open. Raonic was beaten by Corentin Moutet in Doha in his first match of 2020, but he’s got going in Melbourne with two solid wins. Can he score a big one over Stefanos Tsitsipas when they meet for the first time on Friday?
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Milos Raonic Match Prediction
While Tsitsipas heads into this match as the favourite, it wouldn’t be a massive surprise if Raonic pulled this one off. When fit, the Canadian is top-ten quality, and he’s built up some confidence and momentum with two solid wins in Melbourne. If he serves as well as he can, he will have chances to win this match. This is a very tough third round for Tsitsipas, who will have to play very well, and work very hard if he’s to get over the line.