Melbourne - Third seed Milos Raonic charged home to claim a
quarter-final spot at the Australian Open with a fluctuating four-set win over
Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday.
Raonic had early problems before he recovered under a closed
roof to win 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 against the 13th-seeded Bautista Agut in
two hours, 52 minutes on Hisense Arena.
The big-serving Canadian will face either 14-time Grand Slam
champion Rafael Nadal or French sixth seed Gael Monfils in the last eight.
He is 3-3 in career matches with Monfils, but trails Nadal
6-2 in their previous meetings.
It is the third straight year Raonic has reached the
quarter-finals in Australia, and it is also his sixth quarter-final at a major,
the most by any Canadian player.
Raonic, who stretched his record to 5-0 over the Spaniard,
served up 33 aces but also had his issues with his serve as he was broken three
times, along with nine double faults.
Raonic saved a break point at 4-4 in the third set with a
blistering forehand winner, and Bautista Agut double-faulted in the following
game to give the Canadian a break and set point.
Raonic then went on a run of seven games as the stadium roof
was closed because of rain, changing the complexion of the match as the
Canadian's serve dominated.