Raonic blasts into Open fourth round

MELBOURNE: Canada´s eighth seed Milos Raonic smashed 22 aces on the way to a straight sets demolition of Benjamin Becker to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open on Saturday.

The big-serving Raonic defeated Becker 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in 1hr 41min on Hisense Arena to ease into the round of 16 and will face either Poland´s Jerzy Janowicz or Spanish 12th seed Feliciano Lopez next.

The victory means Raonic has equalled his best performance at Melbourne Park after reaching the round of 16 as a qualifier in 2011.

He served at 71 percent and clocked a fastest serve at 225 kph (181 mph) among the many thunderbolts he hurtled down to the German.

The Canadian hit 46 winners and only 19 unforced errors, while Becker made just 21 winners.

“I feel like I am getting better each match, I´m having a lot of fun, I´m enjoying the atmosphere and I´m looking forward to keep going,” said Raonic, who was the first Canadian since 1908 to reach a Grand Slam semi at Wimbledon last year.

“It´s a great time for Canadian tennis, I´m grateful to be a part of it and let´s keep changing those dates, let´s keep breaking new records.”

Becker, whose serve was broken five times, showed little threat to Raonic after coming from behind to eliminate Australian dual Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt in five sets in the previous round.