Milos Raonic wins in straight sets to reach Round of 16 at Australian Open
Raonic is last Canadian singles player remaining after Denis Shapovalov falls to Novak Djokovic
Milos Raonic stands as the lone Canadian singles player remaining at the Australian Open.
Raonic is moving on to the fourth round of the Australian Open for the sixth time in his career after downing France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert in straight sets on Saturday, while fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov was ousted by six-time champion Novak Djokovic in four sets.
Raonic, ranked 17th in the world, downed No. 53 Herbert 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (6) to earn his way into the Round of 16 and will play fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev.
The Thornhill, Ont., product swept to 3-0 and 5-1 leads in the tiebreaker but Herbert rallied to level at 5-5. Herbert saved one match point before Raonic clinched the 2-hour, 1-minute match with an ace.
Match Wrap: Milos Raonic cruises into Round of 16 at Australian Open:
Shapovalov shows flashes of skill
Meanwhile, the 19-year-old Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., showed flashes of his skill against the world No. 1 and even came back to steal the third set despite trailing 4-2, but in the end the veteran was too much to overcome.
WATCH | Shapovalov puts up fight vs. Djokovic
The 31-year-old Djokovic downed the 27th-ranked Canadian 6-4, 6-4, (6) 6-7, 6-0 in two hours, 22 minutes.
Dabrowski, Pavić start Sunday
Aside from Raonic, Ottawa's Gabriella Dabrowski is the other Canadian remaining in the Austrlian Open draw. She and mixed doubles partner Mate Pavić of Croatia are back to defend their 2018 Australian Open title and play a wildcard entry from the host country on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Serena Williams overwhelmed 18-year-old Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday.
Williams grabbed a pair of service breaks and a 4-0 lead after less than 15 minutes and was well on her way to yet another easy-looking victory. When it ended, Williams placed her arm around Yastremska, who wiped away a tear.
Only 9 game losses so far
"I thought she did really amazing. She came out swinging," Williams told the crowd. "To be so young, I thought she came out really ready to go."
Not only has Williams won every set she played this week — and 20 in a row at Melbourne Park, dating to the start of her 2017 run to the title — but she's ceded a total of only nine games through three victories.
Things could finally get interesting in Week 2, though, as Williams bids for an eighth trophy at the Australian Open and record-tying 24th Grand Slam title in all: She will face either her older sister, Venus, or No. 1-ranked Simona Halep next. Those two were scheduled to meet each other Saturday night.
Unlike any of Serena's foes until now, both Venus (with seven) and Halep (with one) have won a major title.
Yastremska had never won so much as a single match at any Grand Slam tournament until this one, but she showed that she's capable of top-notch play during wins over 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in the first round, then 23rd-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro in the second.
She was born in 2000, the year after Serena won her initial major, and grew up cheering for someone she calls "a legend." Yastremska recalls swinging her racket in the living room at home while watching on TV at age 8 as her favourite player competed.
Surely, everything felt a tad different up-close-and-personal with the 37-year-old American in Rod Laver Arena.
Right from the start, Yastremska appeared a bit jittery, missing 9 of 10 first serves and double-faulting three times while getting broken in each of her opening two service games. By the end of the first set, the teenager had 13 unforced errors, nine more than Williams.
Didn't get much better in the second set, and Williams wound up with eight aces while facing zero break points, and a 20-13 ratio of winners to unforced errors.
In other action, No. 8 Kei Nishikori beat Joao Sousa 7-6 (6), 6-1, 6-2, and No. 15 Daniil Medvedev defeated No. 21 David Goffin 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-3.
The woman Williams lost to in last year's chaotic U.S. Open final, Naomi Osaka, dusted herself off after tumbling to the court and erased a big deficit by taking 11 of 12 games to beat No. 28 Hsieh Su-wei 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.
No. 6 Elina Svitolina also put together quite a comeback to win 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 against Zhang Shuai 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, while No. 13 Anastasija Sevastova eliminated No. 21 Wang Qiang 6-3, 6-3.
"I was ... struggling," said Svitolina, who was treated by a trainer after the second set. "I just told myself, 'I'm going to die or win."'