Milos Raonic’s run at Roland Garros is over as he lost to the 55th ranked player in the world, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, in the fourth round Sunday.
Raonic went down in straight sets 2-6, 4-6, 4-6.
After a first set in which he was broken twice, Raonic jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second and looked as if he was ready to bounce back. Ramos-Vinolas not only broke back, he broke Raonic’s serve again to steal the set from under Raonic’s nose.
The match was a reminder of why Raonic’s idol, Pete Sampras, was never able to overcome the challenge of winning on the clay courts in France.
The surface neutralized Raonic’s powerful serves, slowing them down enough to be returned and forcing him into baseline rallies. Here, he was unable to execute, as Ramos-Vinolas controlled the majority of points, moving Raonic side-to-side, while he stood in the middle of the court.
Ramos-Vinolas, 28, reached a career-high 38th ranking in the world in 2012 and won his only ATP challenger tournament in 2010. This will be his first time playing in the quarter-final of a Grand Slam tournament. Yet against Raonic, the left-handed Spaniard almost looked like the second coming of Spanish tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco.
Had Raonic won the match, his chances of going much further weren’t high as he’d likely be facing defending champion Stan Wawrinka in the quarters.