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Canada's Raonic can't break through at French Open

06/02/2012 04:09 EDT | Updated 08/02/2012 05:12 EDT

Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic was eliminated from the French Open in the third round on Saturday by Juan Monaco of Argentina in five sets.

The No. 13 seed Monaco, whose best surface is clay, won by scores of 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4.

The Thornhill, Ont., native could not convert on any of his eight break point chances in the 4 ½hour match. The most crucial of those missed opportunities came in the first game of the fourth set, with Raonic leading 2-1 in sets.

Raonic, the 19th seed, won the first set in which both remained on serve, highlighted by a deft volley at the net.

Monaco broke early in the second for a relatively easy set but Raonic rebounded. He could have won the third set in the 10th game, but squandered multiple set points.

Raonic seemed to begin to tire in the fifth. He fought hard to prevent a break in the first game, but could not do the same in the third.

Monaco never trailed again, although Raonic fought off a match point on his own serve in the penultimate game.

The 21-year-old finished with 26 aces and 71 winners, with 88 unforced errors.

Raonic was the last Canadian in the singles draws, with Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., eliminated on Friday.

For the second time in three weeks, Raonic lost one step shy of a meeting against Rafael Nadal of Spain.

But it may be just as well.

Nadal, going for a record seventh French Open title, displayed awesome form again against Argentine Eduardo Schwank, who put up the best effort so far of the top seed's three opponents.

The Spaniard won by scores of 6-1, 6-3, 6-4. He has lost just 17 games in three matches.

"I'm in the second week, so that's the important thing," Nadal said. "I start the most difficult week now with a big confrontation against Monaco. He's playing great. He's having a fantastic season."

Meanwhile, Mikhail Youzhny was having such a bad day in the third round of the French Open that he felt the need to apologize, right on court during the match.

The 27th-seeded Russian scraped "SORRI" into the clay with his right foot in the middle of his 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 loss to No. 6 David Ferrer on Saturday.

"There was a lot of people. That's why I write `sorry.' Because I can't show them a nice game," Youzhny said. "The way we played in the beginning, it was not really interesting for people."

Against Ferrer, Youzhny won his first game early in the second set, making it 2-1. He held serve at love when Ferrer sent a forehand return into the net.

But instead of heading straight for his chair for the changeover, he stopped just inside the service line and started writing out his message.

A ball boy stood nearby with Youzhny's towel, and then backed off as the Russian continued drawing out the letters.

"People in the stands may not have noticed, but I think I had to do this," Youzhny said.

The Spaniard said he didn't even see it.

"I don't know why he put this in the court, but I don't have [anything] to say," said Ferrer, who is the fourth round at Roland Garros for the fourth time.

Fourth seed Andy Murray of Britain downed Santiago Giraldo of Colombia, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, while No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia beat No. 29 Julien Benneteau of France, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.

Murray, who complained of a bad back in his second-round win over Jarkko Nieminen, showed no ill effects in the third round — a two hour, 2 minute win in which he never lost his serve and faced break point only once.

No. 12 Nicolas Almagro of Spain moved on to meet Tipsarevic, getting the best to of Leonardo Mayer of Argentina, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. Almagro has twice reached the quarters at the French.

He'll take on No. 17 Richard Gasquet of France, a 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 victor over veteran Tommy Haas.

Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsongo are the only Frenchmen left after Paul Henri-Mathieu lost in five sets. Spaniard Marcel Granollers won 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 6-1.

Granollers will meet countryman Ferrer.

In doubles action, Toronto's Daniel Nestor and partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus were second round winners against Aussies Paul Hanley and Jordan Kerr. Scores were 6-1, 7-6.

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