Anticipation for the matchup between James Blake and Milos Raonic was high heading into Saturday evening's third round match. So much so that there literally wasn't a seat to be had in a sardine-packed Grandstand stadium for the entire first set.
And while the idea of Blake's intense, crowd-pleasing game going up against Raonic's monster serve and forehand had fans eager to watch it all unfold, it wasn't long before Raonic's weapons proved too strong for Blake. The No. 15-seed Canadian struck 54 winners to ease his way into a 6-3, 6-0, 7-6(3) win and secure a chance to play Andy Murray in the Round of 16.
An early break on the American's serve in the first set quickly put Raonic ahead 5-2, closing it out on his next service game. If ever Raonic found himself in a hole facing break points, which was rare, he simply called on his 142 mph serve to bail him out. And did it ever come through for him, to the tune of 29 aces for the match.
Blake failed to hold his serve the entire second set, winning only 8 percent of his second serve points and commiting nine unforced errors to only one winner in the set.
A spark of hope came through for Blake in the third set, and he was able to hang on for a tiebreak. But it was all Raonic from there, as he allowed only three points and put the match away with - what else? - an ace.
- Blake hit 17 winners and 14 unforced errors.