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Under The Radar, Raonic Advances In Opener

 Last year's finalist Milos Raonic was tested on Tuesday but remained perfect in openers at The Championships, beating German Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(4) on No. 1 Court.

Raonic has now won all seven of his Wimbledon openers. His best run at the All England Club came a year ago when Raonic became the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam tournament final before falling to Andy Murray in straight sets.

Canadian Milos Raonic.
The 26-year-old Raonic has struggled with injuries for much of this season, though, giving a walkover or altogether withdrawing from five tournaments so far this year. Last month, he fell in his grass-court opener at the Aegon Championships at The Queen's Club. The 2016 London finalist lost to #NextGenATP Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis.

In one way, though, the up and downs have had a positive effect on Raonic. With the resurgence of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer this season, Raonic enters Wimbledon firmly under the radar.

The Canadian, who also reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2014, struck 20 aces and landed nearly 70 per cent of his first serves against Struff, who was trying to end a nine-match losing streak at Grand Slam tournaments. Raonic failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the third set but came through in the tie-break to advance to the second round.

He will next face Russian Mikhail Youzhny, who beat Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.

Elsewhere, Grigor Dimitrov, the No.13 seed and 2014 semi-finalist, hit 32 winners to defeat Diego Schwartzman 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-2. He next faces Marcos Baghdatis, a 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 winner over James Ward.

“After that first set, I had a bit more confidence. I played better I think overall. That was very positive. I'm just pleased to go through the first round in straight sets,” said Dimitrov. “First matches are never easy. But today was a pretty tricky opponent to play in an opening round. I've known Diego for quite a time. We had quite a few matches to play against each other. I knew it was not going to be an easy match.”

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/raonic-struff-thiem-wimbledon-2017-tuesday

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