The top half of the men’s draw has stayed entirely with the seedings as the number one seed, Novak Djokovic will take on the number eight seed, Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals. Djokovic is yet to drop a set this tournament; in the fourth round, he beat Gilles Muller, 6-4 7-5 7-5. Hitting 47 winners (including 13 aces) to just 16 unforced errors, Djokovic is looking in great form. The one downside to Djokovic’s start at the Australian Open is that he has yet to be really tested. He should get that in the quarters against Raonic. The 24-year-old hadn’t dropped a set in his first three matches, but was pushed to five sets by Feliciano Lopez in a 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-7(7) 6-3 victory. Lopez had saved match points in two of his previous matches and saved one in the fourth set tiebreak against Raonic. To his credit, Raonic didn’t buckle and wrapped up the win to reach his first ever Grand Slam quarter-final in Melbourne.
Djokovic leads the head-to-head with Raonic 4-0. This includes a win in Davis Cup action in 2013 (7-6 7-6 6-2), two victories during last year’s clay court season (6-7 7-6 6-3 in Rome and 7-5 7-6 6-4 at Roland Garros) and a comfortable win in the final of Paris last year (6-2 6-3). Raonic has started the year with much promise after pushing Roger Federer hard in the final of Brisbane and outplaying him for much of their match. However, he still faltered at the end and wasn’t able to get the win. Raonic has shown glimpses of excellence against the best players on tour. Against Djokovic, the best returner on tour and a monster in best of five set matches, Raonic will have to produce sustained brilliance. I’d fancy Milos to get one set but three? Not feeling it.
Prediction: Djokovic d. Raonic in 4 sets
Monday’s poll results: 72% of readers correctly predicted that Djokovic would beat Muller and 76% correctly predicted that Raonic would beat Lopez.