Tennis fans devastated for Milos Raonic in repeat of dramas against Alex de Minaur

The Canadian was forced to retire hurt once again at the Rotterdam Open.

Milos Raonic and Alex de Minaur.
Milos Raonic retired hurt at the Rotterdam Open (L) in a repeat of what happened against Alex de Minaur at the Australian Open (R). Image: Getty

Milos Raonic was forced to retire hurt from another tournament on Friday, just weeks after pulling the pin against Alex de Minaur at the Australian Open. The former World No.3 was in action against de Minaur at Melbourne Park in January when he retired hurt during the third set due to a hip issue.

The Canadian hasn't managed to put together an injury-free run in a number of years, with the 33-year-old missing nine grand slam tournaments since 2021. During that time he has suffered achilles, back, glutes, ankle, calf and knee injuries, plus a broken toe.

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Raonic's wife was left in tears as she watched him struggled against de Minaur, and American legend John McEnroe questioned whether the veteran might announce his retirement after the Australian Open. However he was back in action at the Rotterdam Open this week, and surged into the quarter finals.

Milos Raonic's wife, pictured here in tears as he retired hurt at the Australian Open.
Milos Raonic's wife was in tears as he retired hurt at the Australian Open. Image: Getty/Channel 9

But disaster struck again on Friday when Raonic was forced to retire at 1-1 in the second set against Jannik Sinner. Sinner, who won the Australian Open last month, took the first set 7-6 (7-4) before the big-hitting Roanic called it quits just two games later.

"Obviously this is not the way you want to win the match," Sinner said afterwards. "I wish him a speedy recovery. I was actually playing and I was not realising that he was about to retire but he knows his body really well and he knows his limits so, for sure, it's the right choice for him."

Raonic squandered two set points against Sinner on Friday before the Italian showed his class to take the first set. The runner-up at Wimbledon in 2016, Raonic has plummeted to World No.309 in the rankings amid a nightmare run of injuries. Fans were quick to rally around the Canadian and send messages of support on Friday.

Alex de Minaur to clash with Jannik Sinner in Rotterdam final

Sinner beat Tallon Griekspoor in the semi-finals on Saturday and will climb to No.3 in the ATP rankings, making him the highest-ranked Italian man in tennis history. The other semi-final saw de Minaur take down Grigor Dimitrov in the Aussie's latest revenge mission.

On Friday, de Minaur got revenge over Andrey Rublev, beating the Russian 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3 after losing to him in the fourth round at the Australian Open. And 24 hours later he avenged his loss to Dimitrov in Rotterdam last year, winning 6-4 6-3 to march into the final.

Alex de Minaur.
Alex de Minaur in action against Andrey Rublev at the Rotterdam Open.

It marked the second year running that de Minaur played Dimitrov on his birthday, but this year it was the Aussie who claimed the victory. "I'm extremely happy with the level throughout the whole match," de Minaur said afterwards. "It was probably one of the better matches I've played from start to finish. Even saying that, I always know that Grigor is going to lift his level and compete until the end, and I had to fight off some pretty tough break points, when I came up with some of my best tennis."

De Minaur hit 14 winners and made just four unforced errors in the 84-minute victory. "From the word go here in Rotterdam, I've felt a very calm presence," the Aussie said. "I've felt positive, I've been calm and collected throughout whole matches, and I think that's been a big key for me."

De Minaur's run to the final has ensured he will rise to a career-high ranking of World No.9. He will have to claim his first career win against Sinner (who holds a 6-0 head-to-head record) if he wants to snare an eighth ATP title.

with agencies

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