French Open: Milos Raonic rides serve into round three

French Open: Milos Raonic rides serve into round three

Eighth seed Milos Raonic was untouchable on serve in his second round match against Adrian Mannarino, not facing a single break point in the straight sets victory.

pete-borkowski
Pete Borkowski

Canada’s Milos Raonic continued his strong run of form at the French Open on Wednesday, defeating France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 7-6(0), 6-1. There were some tight moments, but generally, the big-serving Canadian had his way with Mannarino, only needing an hour and 36 minutes to claim victory.

Raonic races through opener

The Raonic serve was tested early by Mannarino, who pushed the Canadian to three deuces in the opening game before the eighth seed held. After putting some good pressure on his opponent through the first three games, it would be the Frenchman who blinked first, throwing in a terrible game at 1-2, hitting a pair of unforced errors and one forced to give Raonic triple break point, which he converted on his second chance by forcing another error.

Raonic follows through on a forehand during the second round win. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images
Raonic follows through on a forehand during the second round win. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Raonic began to pick up steam and two games later, once again found himself at triple break point. Mannarino would save the first two, but dumped a serve and volley into the net to give the Canadian a 5-1 lead. The Canadian easily served out the set to 15, only needing 25 minutes to take the opening set 6-1.

Blowout tiebreak gives Raonic tight second set.

The second set was all about the serves. There were no break points for either player in the entire second set, and both men were relatively unchallenged on their serve. The closest either player came to a break was in the third game, when Raonic forced a deuce on the Mannarino serve. However, the Frenchman was up to the task and only required one deuce to hold. The set required a tiebreak, which was nowhere near as close as the set. The Canadian dominated the breaker, not dropping a point on route to sealing it 7-0 and taking a two-sets-to-love lead.

Raonic cruises into round three

After not having a single break point chance in the entire second set, Raonic brought one up in the Frenchman’s first service game of the third set. Mannarino hit a shot long to give the Canadian a break and the early lead, which a strong hold quickly stretched to 3-0. The eighth seed kept coming and once again had double break point in the following game. Mannarino drove a forehand well long on the first to give his opponent a double break lead.

Raonic tees up one of his giant serves. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Raonic tees up one of his giant serves. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

The momentum was firmly with the Canadian as he held to love to move to within a game of victory. Mannarino finally got on the board at 5-1 down, but he was only delaying the inevitable. Raonic would hold off a minor push from the Frenchman, holding to 30 to reach the third round in Paris for the fourth time in five appearances.

By the numbers

Raonic was limited to seven aces, but was still dominant on serve, winning 76 percent of his first serve points and 71 percent of his second serves, not facing a break point. He was at his big-hitting best, pounding 33 winners and a mere 17 unforced errors, a low count for the Canadian. He also benefitted from 30 unforced errors off Mannarino’s racquet. The Frenchman was limited to 36 percent of his second serve points and was broken four times out seven chances.

Raonic will take on Andrej Martin in the third round.

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