Tennis

Raonic puts up fight but still can't solve Djokovic at Cincinnati Open

Milos Raonic may have rest on his side when he meets his opponent Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati later Friday. Djokovic knocked off defending-champion Grigor Dimitrov in a match started on Thursday but finished on Friday.

Canadian knocked off Denis Shapovalov on Thursday to reach quarter-finals

Milos Raonic returns a shot to Novak Djokovic at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament on Friday in Cincinnati. (John Minchillo/The Associated Press)

Milos Raonic still has no answer for Novak Djokovic.

Despite pushing the 13-time Grand Slam winner to three sets, the Canadian couldn't solve Djokovic, losing 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the quarter-final of the Western and Southern Open on Friday.

With the loss, Raonic, the 29th-ranked player in the world, dropped to 0-9 in his career against the Serbian.

Both players held serve until the seventh game of the first set, when Raonic took a 4-3 lead. A clearly frustrated Djokovic destroyed his racket in frustration when he hit wide facing game point.

Novak Djokovic eliminated Milos Raonic 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the quarter-final of the Western and Southern Open on Friday. Raonic has yet to defeat Djokovic in nine meetings. 2:17

But up 5-4, Raonic was broken while serving for the set, and broken again in the deciding game to give the Djokovic the early advantage. The 10th seed fell awkwardly on the last point of the set and appeared to roll an ankle, but didn't seem to suffer any mobility issues throughout the rest of the match.

Raonic got an early break in the second and held serve for the win to take just his second set ever against Djokovic, and first on hardcourt in 11 tries.

Del Potro, Federer advance

Juan Martin del Potro and Nick Kyrgios split two tiebreaks before Del Potro prevailed in the third set for a 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 6-2 win.

Del Potro will face David Goffin, who upset Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-4 to reach the Cincinnati quarter-finals for the first time in three tries.

Roger Federer — the top player left in the men's bracket after No. 1 Rafael Nadal withdrew to get some rest — needed only 72 minutes to beat Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 7-6 (6), leaving him on course for yet another Cincinnati title. He's won a record seven despite missing the tournament the last two years because of injury.

Federer beat Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 7-6 (6) in the third round at the Western & Southern Open on Friday. He will play Stan Wawrinka later on Friday night in the quarter-finals. 0:50

Then, it was off for a little rest before an evening match against fellow Swiss player Stan Wawrinka, who advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Marton Fucsovics.

In the women's draw, top-ranked Simona Halep won the first of two scheduled matches Friday at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, edging 16th-seeded Ashleigh Barty 7-5, 6-4.

Halep will face unseeded Lesia Tsurenko in a quarterfinal match after rain delayed matches on Thursday.

Barty, who lost to Halep in last week's Rogers Cup semifinals in Montreal, committed 32 unforced errors to Halep's 17. Halep is seeking her first Cincinnati championship after losing in the finals last year and 2015.

With files from CBC Sports

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