Melbourne - Slovakian journeyman Lukas
Lacko accounted for Canadian 22nd-seed Milos Raonic (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in
their first round Australian Open clash on Tuesday.
Lacko maintained his record of
never having lost a match at the Australian Open to an opponent outside of the top
10 in the world rankings.
Halfway through 2017, Lacko's
ranking wasn't high enough to earn an automatic place in the main Australian Open
However, two great results in challenge
tournaments towards the end of last year sufficiently improved his ranking points to earn
Lacko admitted to sometimes
finding it hard to get motivated for smaller tournaments.
"I love the
bigger events, larger crowds and better opponents," said Lacko post-match.
Raonic on the other hand
lamented an injury-ravaged 2017 and felt that physically he
wasn't ready to compete at his best.
"I had wrist surgery, a
torn calf muscle and then a knee injury.
"I was underdone. I just
ran out of time to get myself to the level required for this opening grand
It's onwards and upwards for
Lacko who will play unseeded Argentine Nicolas Kicker in Round 2 - and back to the drawing board for Raonic.