Wawrinka fought well to claw himself back from a two sets to love deficit but Raonic was the better player today. His serve and volley tactics took time away from Wawrinka and kept the majority of points short this afternoon.
Wawrinka couldn’t use his backhand enough today and his firepower as a result was nullified despite his good performance in the third and fourth set.
Raonic now faces Monfils and given his strong temperament, a semi-final beckons for the Canadian.
Wawrinka 4 3 7 6 3
Raonic 6 6 5 4 6
Two Australian Open title contenders collide tonight as former champion Stanislas Wawrinka clashes with rising star Milos Raonic. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 2pm (AEDT).
Out of all the Round 4 match-ups, tonight’s contest looks the most competitive, with both Raonic and Wawrinka yet to drop a set en route to the fourth round.
Wawrinka possesses a dominant 4-0 winning record over Raonic, but most of those matches have been competitive affairs.
The highlight of Raonic’s year thus far was securing the Brisbane International several weeks ago, defeating Swiss maestro Roger Federer in straight sets. The Canadian has used that title-winning run in Brisbane as a springboard for a major tilt at the Australian Open.
If Raonic hopes to cause the upset and beat Wawrinka, he has to neagte arguably the finest backhand in the men’s game.
When on song, Wawrinka’s backhand is a match-winning weapon and the key reason he has been able to win two majors over the past two seasons. If Wawrinka is allowed to dominate from this side, Raonic’s chances of progression weaken significantly.
Wawrinka meanwhile faces one of the most powerful serves on the ATP tour. Raonic’s forehand is also a major weapon and the Canadian favours this shot more than his backhand.
Despite Wawrinka’s favourable record over Raonic, this contest could go down to the wire given both players’ present form. Wawrinka’s record however at the Australian Open is strong and such experience may prove definitive for the reigning French Open champion.
Wawrinka in five sets.