Milos Raonic slumps to early exit at Melbourne Park
Former world number three Milos Raonic was sent tumbling out of the Australian Open first round by Lukas Lacko on Tuesday, the Canadian's earliest Grand Slam exit since the 2011 French Open.
On the comeback trail after a 2017 season disrupted by injury, Raonic looked off the pace as he was picked apart 6-7(5) 7-5 6-4 7-6(4) by the 86th ranked Slovak on showcourt two.
Raonic had reached the last eight in his last three visits to Melbourne, making the semi-finals in 2016, and his ability to fire down a thunderous ace kept him in the contest until the fourth set tiebreak.
Two more aces, taking his match tally to 36, briefly gave 22nd seed Raonic a 4-3 lead but he was unable to match Lacko's accuracy and mobility and the Slovak progressed to meet Argentine Nicolas Kicker or local Jordan Thompson in round two.