Milos Raonic and Jesse Levine didn’t hang around long at SW19. Al Dannity reports on the dramatic exits for both Canadians.
It’s looking increasingly likely that Eugenie Bouchard’s upset of Ana Ivanovic will be the high point for Canadian Tennis at Wimbledon this year. Vasek Pospisil battle bravely before falling to Mikhail Youzhny in five sets on Tuesday. Such heroics were in short supply from Jesse Levine and Milos Raonic earlier today.
Levine was an underdog against Juan Martin Del Potro. The closest the Canadian came was in the second set when he forced but lost a tie-break. Otherwise it was a business-like performance from the former US Open champion as he swept Levine aside 6-2 7-6 6-3. Little was expected of Levine in this tournament and a second round exit is nothing to be ashamed of. The same could not be said of Milos Raonic.
The 17 seed from Thornhill, Ont., was looking to finally make it past the second round on a surface that should suit his heavy power game. Raonic however has developed a nasty habit of under-estimating lower-ranked opponents. A slam contender, which Raonic has the game to be, don’t let up when facing un-fancied foes. They deliver ruthless beat downs. There was a ruthless beat-down in this game but the Canadian was on the receiving end.
Having lost the first set 7-5, Raonic had his serve immediately broken at the start of the second by Igor Sijsling. Raonic never got back in the set although he managed to force the Dutchman to serve it out having been on the verge of being broken a second time at 5-3. In a hole, Raonic retreated behind his serve and the third set went to a tie-break. Sijsling took it 7-4 to sweep aside Raonic in straight sets.
This has to be considered a missed opportunity for Raonic. With massive casualties amongst the seeds on Wednesday, Raonic was looking at a manageable route to the last 16. Instead he once again failed to make a dent at Wimbledon. With a few weeks off, Raonic must get his head back in the game before the US hard court season.
The Rogers Cup, which kicks off on 5 August in Montreal, will be the next major target for Raonic. That’s the first of back-to-back Masters tournaments with Cincinnati a week later. The time between now and then must be used to get Raonic’s mind focussed. The US Open comes at the end of August, followed swiftly by a Davis Cup semi-final with Serbia. These are the challenges that await and a sharp mind is mandatory.