Giant-slaying Canadians Raonic and Pospisil ousted
There is an established mathematical formula to determine the worldwide impact of what two Canadian tennis players have achieved at the Rogers Cup, and it will eventually land in the mailbox of whoever pays for Milos Raonic's cellular phone.
"My dad's not going to be happy with my bill," the 19-year-old said with a smile on Tuesday.
Raonic has been receiving more calls than he can remember since he and teammate Vasek Pospisil upset two of the biggest names in men's tennis on Monday night, ousting Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic from doubles competition. Nadal and Djokovic are the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players in the world, respectively.
Raonic is ranked No. 217 in singles, and Pospisil is No. 329.
"It's been a lot," Raonic said. "And I think we both dealt with it well, and we both knew that yesterday wasn't enough. We both knew that today, we wanted to come out and play a good match, and just not settle for yesterday."
They will not have to settle, but neither will they be moving on in the tournament.
The Canadians were eliminated by the defending Wimbledon doubles champions on Tuesday, falling 6-2, 6-4 to Austrian Jurgen Melzer and his German partner, Philipp Petzschner. The match was over in less than an hour.
"They're tough," Pospisil said. "If you win Wimbledon, you're not an average doubles player. You have to be really, really good. So they obviously showed us today what they were made of."
If Nadal and Djokovic were still a novelty -- albeit a high-ranking one -- Melzer and Petzschner were the establishment. They moved with more experience, reading off each other and off the situations on the court.
"They obviously knew about our match yesterday, and they didn't really take us lightly," Raonic said. "They are, obviously a very good team -- they won Wimbledon this year -- and they've been playing well."
Raonic and Pospisil beat Nadal and Djokovic on centre court to cap a remarkable opening day at the tournament. Their win came on the same night Peter Polansky upset Melzer in singles play, becoming the first Canadian man in seven years to beat a top-15 player at the Canadian tournament.
"I couldn't fall asleep at all last night," Pospisil said. "It's not every day you get to go out and play against Nadal and Djokovic on centre court. So it definitely had an emotional strain."
Raonic said his sister was fielding interview requests from her home -- in Montenegro.
Raonic, one of four Canadians given wild card berths into the singles draw, was eliminated in the first round. He lost to Romanian Victor Hanescu, the player Polansky will face in the second round.
Raonic is from nearby Thornhill, Ont., and hopes the early result helps to spark more interest in the sport.
"Our goal here is pretty much as ambassadors to Canada," he said. "The more players that we can get to come, the more people we can get going to take tennis lessons ... the more players that are going to come out in the future."