MELBOURNE, Australia — Canadian Milos Raonic had to rely on his big serve for support in a 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 7-5 defeat of Spain's Tommy Robredo at the Australian Open Thursday.
The 13th seed, from Thornhill, Ont., produced 24 aces in a marathon effort to reach the third round for a sixth consecutive year. The 25-year-old Raonic improved a perfect record against Roberdo to 6-0 after defeating the veteran three times in 2015.
Raonic is hoping to follow up on his best career result in Melbourne after advancing into the quarter-finals last season where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
The contest lasted two hours 55 minutes, with Raonic going through from 75 winners, but only one break of serve in the final game. He now stands 16-5 over his career at the tournament and 6-0 in 2016 after beating Roger Federer for the Brisbane title.
Raonic finally finished his job with Robredo spraying a return long.
Raonic made the match look like hard work at times, as he and Robredo limited their attacks to duels from the baseline as clouds gave way to weak sunshine at Melbourne Park.
Each of the first two sets took at least one hour, with Raonic squeezing through in tiebreakers after missing on seven break chances in the opening set and taking the lead after five set points.
The Canadian got slightly less complicated in the second, requiring only one set point to win it for a two-sets-to-love lead
The Canadian Press