In-form Raonic revels in near-faultless performance


Into the fourth round and full of confidence, Canadian 13th seed Milos Raonic gave himself an "A grading" after easing past Viktor Troicki at the Australian Open on Saturday.

In what he described as his standout performance at Melbourne Park this year, Raonic crushed Serbian 21st seed Troicki 6-2 6-3 6-4 on Margaret Court Arena.

Big-serving Raonic was broken for the first time at the Australian Open this year but he was a class above to remain unbeaten in 2016 after claiming the Brisbane International leading into the season's opening grand slam.

"I think it's definitely the best match I have played here in Melbourne so far this year. I thought I played smart," the 25-year-old told reporters.

"I thought I changed up things really well. Took care of my serve really well, mixed up my serve, was efficient at the net.

"I think I would give myself an A grading on the way I was able to play. The only thing I thought maybe I got sucked into slicing too much at beginning of the second set and letting him find the rhythm too much."

Raonic's straight-sets win, wrapped up in under two hours, guided him to the last 16 for the third time in four years.

Reigning French Open champion and 2014 Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka stands in the way of Raonic and back-to-back quarter-finals in Melbourne.

But Raonic, who has lost all four previous encounters against the Swiss, is upbeat about his chances heading into the second week.

"I feel like I'm finding answers. I'm taking care of my serve. I'm creating opportunities on the return. I'm reacting much better, getting a lot more returns back in, putting more pressure on my opponents, so eventually the opportunities are coming to me," Raonic added.

"Today and my first round were a lot more efficient in that sense. Against Tommy [Robredo], maybe not as much as I would like to be. The opportunities were still there.

"I think it's just really about keeping that cycle going forward. It's not a question of will I create opportunities. I feel like I'm playing good enough tennis. I feel like I can. The question is will I make use of them?"