FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY â€“ Last year 15th seed Milos Raonic missed the US Open due to a hip injury, on Tuesday the Canadian had to battle to survive his first round match against Colombiaâ€™s Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Raonic, known for his serve, had 15 double-faults in the 3-hour and 25 minute match.
â€œI just felt like a lot of basic stuff I wasn’t doing,â€ Raonic said.Â â€œI don’t think I struggled with my serve that much a long, long time.Â A lot of double faults, and it wasn’t just one double fault per game.
â€œIt was when I doubleâ€‘faulted I doubleâ€‘faulted consistently a couple times in a row, so that made my job a lot more difficult and it gave him a little bit more freedom at the same time.â€
Raonic was a few service games away from elimination when he was down a break in the fourth set.
â€œHe was dictating, the Canadianâ€ said of Giraldo.Â â€œI felt like he was going for quite a bit and was not missing.
â€œThe thing is, most of the time my initial way of creating pressure on my opponents is with the serve, serving and holding quite comfortably, and then they hesitate a little more on their service games and that gives me a little bit more freedom.
â€œSo he was holding easier than I was.Â He was having more freedom to swing on his serve games and my service game.Â So it’s sort of like a doubleâ€‘edged sword.Â It was hurting me today that I wasn’t serving well.â€
â€œHe was returning well, but I gave him the opportunity to return well.Â Last time I played him I served consistently well throughout the match, so I just instilled a little bit of fear and doubt on his return game.
â€œWhereas today I had way too many lapses, so after a while he sort of was seeing the light and saying, Okay, if I just stick with him I’ll sort of have a few cracks at his serve.
Raonic will next face Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu for a spot in the third round. It will be the first meeting between the two players.