Canadian Milos Raonic sets ATP record with 47 aces in one match

By The Canadian Press

Milos Raonic was at his peak when he reached the Wimbledon final in 2016 before injuries decimated his promising career.

On Monday, the 33-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., served notice that he is still a force to be reckoned with on grass.

Raonic fired 47 aces, an ATP record for a three-set match, and came back for a 6-7 (6), 6-3, 7-6 (9) win over Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the first round of the Queen’s Club Championships.

Fifty-six per cent of Raonic’s service points came from aces.

“With the scoreline and having to save match points, I probably needed every single one of those,” Raonic said, who faced match point twice in the third-set tiebreaker. “But my serve has always been the most important shot to me.

Raonic hit five of his aces in the tiebreaker, including one clocking in at 232 kilometres per hour to set up match point.

The hard-serving Canadian topped the previous record of 45 set by Ivo Karlovic in 2015.

“This small record, it’s something special, something meaningful,” Raonic said. “I’m glad that behind that also stands a win because maybe I’d feel differently or maybe a bit more sour if I was to get that many free points and lose the match.

“So overall, a very positive thing and a fun stat to be proud of.”

The men’s record for aces in any singles match is 113 by John Isner in his marathon 11-hour Wimbledon win in 2010 over Nicolas Mahut, who hit 103.

Raonic, whose previous best was 38 aces in a 2011 match, improved to 3-0 against Norrie.

The former world No. 3 who came into the match ranked 186th will next face the winner of a match between Japan’s Taro Daniel and fourth seed Taylor Fritz of the United States in the second round.

In other results Monday, Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo at the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham, England, and Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime withdrew from his first-round match against Germany’s Dominik Koepfer at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle, Germany.

Fernandez, ranked sixth in Birmingham, broke Sorribes Tormo six times on seven chances while fending off three of the four break points she faced to win the match in a tidy 63 minutes.

She will face Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic in the second round.

Auger-Aliassime dropped the first set 6-4 and trailed 4-3 in the second when he withdrew from his match. He was playing his first grass-court match of the season.

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