Raonic rocked in Rome
Milos Raonic of Canada reacts after losing a point to Roger Federer of Switzerland during last week's singles match at the Madrid Open tennis tournament. (REUTERS)
Less than a week after pushing Roger Federer to the limit, Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic was bounced from the Italian Open in Rome almost before it began.
Raonic was knocked out of the ATP Masters 1000 with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 first-round loss to 24th-ranked Florian Mayer of Germany Sunday. Mayer needed just 91 minutes to send the 21-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., packing.
I was playing quite well," Raonic said. "He just played better. He jumped on everything I hit, I couldn't rise to his level today. But I'm gaining experience in these situations. I didn't play my best tennis but I played OK. My goal is to compete with the guys on a regular basis. I'm always trying to improve my game."
Despite the loss, Raonic could slip into the top-20 in the world rankings Monday. He was 23rd heading into the clay-court tournament in Rome.
Against Mayer, Raonic had just eight aces and was broken twice. In a three-set loss to Federer last week in Madrid, Raonic blasted 21 aces.
Mayer will play second-seeded Rafael Nadal in the second round.
Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., advanced to the main draw with a 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 win over Natassja Burnett of Italy. Wozniak will play Julia Goerges of Germany in the first round, with the winner facing Marion Bartoli of France.