Raonic's run comes to an end

Milos Raonic plays a shot to David Ferrer during their match at the Australian Open on Monday....

Milos Raonic plays a shot to David Ferrer during their match at the Australian Open on Monday. (REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic)

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 11:21 AM ET

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Milos Raonic, the unhearalded 20-year-old Canadian who made an incredible run to the fourth round of the Australian Open, lost to Spaniard David Ferrer 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 on Monday.

Raonic's on-court victims last week included 10th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny and Michael Llodra, a 22nd seed.

The resident of Thornhill, Ont., is the current tournament leader in aces (94) and serve speed (230 km/h).

Meanwhile, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and last year's runner-up Andy Murray rolled into the quarterfinals, while French Open runner-up Robin Soderling came up a fourth-round loser.

The reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and French Open champion Nadal cruised past 15th-seeded Croat Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 at Melbourne Park's Rod Laver Arena. Cilic was a semifinalist here a year ago.

In his best performance so far at this 2011 Grand Slam event, Nadal advanced in 2 hours, 31 minutes, as the 6-foot-6 Cilic piled up 48 unforced errors and failed to break his Spanish counterpart on Day 8. Nadal finished his easy day with five service breaks and has yet to drop a set through four matches here.

Nadal will play fellow countryman Ferrer in the next round.

"Before the match I was a little bit nervous," Nadal said. "I know how aggressive he can play. I think I played my best match this year here at the Australian Open."

A capacity crowd of 15,000 at Laver on Monday included American country music legend Kenny Rogers and seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Evonne Goolagong Cawley of Australia.

Nadal has won his last 25 Grand Slam matches and is trying to become the first man in 42 years to capture four straight major titles. The Aussie legend Laver was the last one to turn the trick, in 1969. Laver won all four Grand Slam events that year and also captured all four majors in the same year in 1962.

The 24-year-old Nadal captured his lone Aussie title two years ago by beating his great rival Roger Federer in a five-set showdown.

Murray, last year's Melbourne runner-up to Federer, crushed 11th-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 in 1 hour, 43 minutes. Murray has dropped just 22 games in four matches at this particular fortnight.

The British Murray, who was also a runner-up at the U.S. Open, in 2008, could meet Nadal in the semifinals.

"I don't want to get carried away," Murray said of the potential Nadal matchup. "I've never won one of these things before."

The fifth-seeded Murray will have an unexpected opponent in the quarters in Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, who outlasted the fourth-seeded Soderling in five sets, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. Soderling, who hadn't lost a set through his first three matches here, has never reached an Aussie Open quarterfinal.

The 46th-ranked Dolgopolov, who was blown away in the first set in a mere 21 minutes on Monday, pulled off the comeback stunner in 2 hours, 36 minutes. The rising Ukrainian popped 11 aces and piled up nine breaks of Soderling, who settled for six breaks in defeat and is the highest men's seed to fall thus far.

Soderling has been the runner-up at the last two French Opens, losing to Federer and Nadal, respectively, in the finals. The big Swede was a titlist in Brisbane three weeks ago.

The 22-year-old Dolgopolov will now appear in his first-ever major quarterfinal.

"He's got a very unorthodox game, very different to most of the guys on the tour," Murray said of Dolgopolov. "He has a game that can make you play strange shots or not play that well."

The men's quarters will commence Tuesday, as a second-seeded Federer will take on 19th-seeded fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka and third-seeded Serb Novak Djokovic will encounter sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych.

Federer is 6-1 lifetime against his countryman Wawrinka, while Djokovic is 4-1 all-time against Berdych, who ousted the Serb in last year's Wimbledon semis.

The 2010 U.S. Open runner-up Djokovic captured an Aussie Open title in 2008. Berdych was last year's Wimbledon runner-up to Nadal.

The 16-time major champion Federer is the reigning Aussie Open champ, having beaten Murray in last year's finale. Federer owns four Aussie titles overall and was the '09 runner-up to Nadal.


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