In-form Australian Open hopeful Milos Raonic believes he is primed in his bid for a maiden grand slam after stunning Stan Wawrinka in Melbourne on Monday. Raonic — the Canadian 13th seed — underlined his threat by upstaging 2014 champion Wawrinka 6-4 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.
It was Raonic's first win over Wawrinka at the fifth attempt, while maintaining his 100 per cent record in 2016, having claimed the Brisbane International prior to Melbourne.
Raonic shocked world number three Roger Federer in the Brisbane final and the 25-year-old, who managed just two triumphs over players ranked in the top five last year, feels in great shape ahead of a showdown with Gael Monfils.
"I feel like I'm putting in the work and I'm getting the results from it. I'm very happy with that," Raonic said when asked about his confidence after trumping two former Australian Open champions in as many weeks.
"It gives me some kind of ease in those difficult moments, maybe if things aren't going necessarily my way completely.
"Like being down a break in the second set, that I can find solutions, give myself an opportunity. All of those kind of things coming together, it's just sort of cementing where I am with my game, which way I want to keep taking it."
Raonic, who won 54 of 83 points at the net, added: "I'm very happy with the way I played, the way I competed, the way I turned things around after sort of having the momentum against me going into the fifth.
"I'm happy the situation I've put myself in. At the same time, as happy as I am, my mind's already on what's the process for my next challenge."
Monfils is next up for Raonic after the flamboyant Frenchman defeated Andrey Kuznetsov 7-5 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to secure a maiden last-eight appearance at Melbourne Park.
"He's playing well. He's very entertaining and he's very difficult to play. He can give you complete ends of the spectrum within one game," Raonic said.
"It's very much of an internal match for me. I just have to take the game to him. I have to make him feel uncomfortable. Not let him get into his sort of playing comfort.
"If I can sort of keep up with the efficiency moving forward, I'll have definitely some opportunities."
- DC-W vs GG-W live score, WPL 2024: Dominant Delhi Capitals vs struggling Gujarat Giants; Live streaming info
- Ranji Trophy 2023-24 semifinal: Mantri helps Madhya Pradesh wrest control against Vidarbha on Day 2
- BAN vs SL: Bangladesh and Sri Lanka ready for series eyeing T20 World Cup 2024
- World Indoor Championships 2024: LaFond flies to Dominica’s first world athletics gold medal
- Indian Sports News Wrap: March 3