WATCH: Bizarre net point, superb tennis, hugs and emotions aplenty as Milos Raonic stuns Frances Tiafoe

Shahida Jacobs
Milos Raonic delighted
A happy Milos Raonic

The fit-again Milos Raonic pulled off a remarkable win over Frances Tiafoe at the Canadian Open as he became the first player ranked outside the top 500 to beat a top 20 opponent in two decades.

Former world No 3 Raonic has played very little tennis over the past few years due to calf and leg injuries as last year he didn’t play any competitive matches while in 2021 his win-loss record was 7-5.

Before Monday’s opening clash against Tiafoe, the Canadian had played only four matches in 2023 with all of those coming on grass – two at Wimbledon and two at ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

As a result of his stop-start action recently, Raonic is currently ranked No 545 – an improvement from the 835 he was just a couple of months ago – so not too many people fancied him against world No 10 Tiafoe.

Yet, he produced a vintage display to win 6-7 (12-14), 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in two hours and 41 minutes to become the first man since Wayne Black in 2003 to beat a top 20 opponent despite being ranked outside the top 500.

The game had it all as there were long rallies, a controversial point given to Tiafoe at the end of the first set despite the American touching the net, plenty of emotion and hugs.

Oh and Raonic’s parents were there to witness his magical win as he played in Toronto for the first time since 2018.

“Two years away, five years from playing in Toronto, a whole four years since I got to play in front of my parents, who were there for the majority of my matches as junior and a majority of my matches as a pro. All of these things came together for a great night for me and I’m incredible grateful for it,” the 32-year-old said after his win.

The big talking point of the match came in the first-set tie-breaker when the score was 6-6 (12-13). Tiafoe chased down a ball that clipped the net and managed to get the ball back and it turned out to be a winner.

However, the American crashed into the net and the chair umpire Fergus Murphy initially ruled against Tiafoe and then changed the call as he touched the net outside the singles court.

It was a crucial moment as it meant Tiafoe won the set, but while the ninth seed won that battle, Raonic won the war as he secured the second-set tie-breaker and then broke early in set three to set up the win.

Up next for the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up is Taro Daniel after the Japanese qualifier defeated Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

READ MORE: Milos Raonic still inspiring Canada’s next generation

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