Saturday, January 25, 2020

Raonic, Kenin score big wins to reach Aussie quarters

Milos Raonic beat Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open
champion, in straight sets tonight in the Australian
Open. File photo by Paul Bauman
   Two players, one man and one woman, who dominated in Northern California tournaments won fourth-round matches in the Australian Open tonight.
   Milos Raonic, a Canadian seeded 32nd, dispatched Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 in Melbourne. The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Raonic, the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up to Andy Murray, has not lost his serve in the tournament. Cilic won the 2014 U.S. Open and reached the final of the 2018 Australian Open.
   Sofia Kenin topped 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-0 in an all-American matchup to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Gauff was coming off a 6-3, 6-4 victory over third seed and defending champion Naomi Osaka.
   Raonic never lost a set in three appearances in the SAP Open in San Jose, Calif., winning the last three titles before the tournament moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2014 after 125 years in Northern California.
   Kenin won NorCal Challenger singles titles in three consecutive years – Sacramento in 2016 at age 17, Stockton and Berkeley.
   Kenin, who was voted the WTA Most Improved Player of the Year in 2019, has a much better chance to reach the Australian Open semifinals than Raonic.
   Kenin, 21, will meet unseeded Ons Jabeur, a Tunisian who eliminated 27th-seeded Wang Qiang of China 7-6 (4), 6-1.
Sofia Kenin topped 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff
to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Photo by
Paul Bauman
   Jabeur ended former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki's career in the third round. Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champion, announced last month that she would retire after Melbourne this year.
   Wang, meanwhile, shocked eighth seed and seven-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams.
   Kenin, ranked 15th, is 3-1 against Jabeur, ranked 78th.
   Raonic, 29, will face second seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic, who outclassed 14th-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Raonic is 0-9 against Djokovic.
   In matches involving Northern California players:
   –California natives Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey, who was born in San Francisco, lost to Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-2 in the third round of men's doubles.
   Johnson and Querrey were unable to bounce back from their 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (12) victory over 14th-seeded Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski of Great Britain on Friday (California time).
   –Aidan Mayo, who grew up in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, defeated qualifier Viacheslav Bielinskyi of Ukraine 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1 in the first round of boys singles.
   –India Houghton, a Stanford commit from Belvedere Tiburon in the San Francisco Bay Area, fell to Ya Yi Yang of Chinese Taipei 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the opening round of girls singles.

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