Kokkinakis stuns Raonic at Queen’s

- Agence France-Presse, LONDON

Jun 21, 2017-

Milos Raonic’s Wimbledon preparations suffered a major setback on Tuesday as the world No 6 crashed to a shock Queen’s Club first-round defeat against Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Raonic came agonisingly close to a golden summer on grass last year when he reached the Queen’s and Wimbledon finals, only to lose to Andy Murray on both occasions. But the Canadian’s hopes of warming up for Wimbledon with another strong showing at Queen’s were wrecked by Kokkinakis’s stunning 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (10/8) triumph on a baking hot afternoon in west London.

Kokkinakis needed a wild card from the tournament organisers to make the Queen’s main draw after his ranking plunged to 698 following an abdominal strain that sidelined him for 18 weeks. Finally fit again, the 21-year-old secured his first Tour level match win for 21 months at ‘s-Hertogenbosch last week, but even so he surely wouldn’t have expected to clinch the best win of his promising career just days later.

Kokkinakis faces Nicolas Mahut or Daniil Medvedev next. Raonic only reached the last 16 at the French Open, but clay doesn’t suit his big-serving game as well as the manicured lawns of London. Having recently hired former Grand Slam doubles champion Mark Knowles as his coach, Raonic was looking to make a statement of intent.

Published: 21-06-2017 08:52

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