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US Open (tennis)

One in, one out: Milos Raonic exits as defending champion Novak Djokovic gets walkover at US Open

The fifth seeded and Wimbledon runner-up lost to American qualifier Ryan Harrison 6-7 (4/7), 7-5, 7-5, 6-1, while Jiri Vesely was forced to withdraw from his second round meeting with the defending champion due to injury

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 September, 2016, 1:42pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 September, 2016, 1:52pm

Fifth seed and Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic was knocked out of the US Open on Wednesday by American qualifier Ryan Harrison as Novak Djokovic was handed a free pass into the last 32.

The 120th ranked Harrison won 6-7 (4/7), 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 and goes on to face Marcos Baghdatis for a place in the last 16 after pulling off the biggest upset of the tournament so far.

“It was extremely physical out there. I was playing on adrenaline,” said 24-year-old Harrison who was as high as 43 in the world in 2012. “This is a big win for me.”

Raonic, considered as a potential title dangerman in New York, hit 18 aces and 69 winners but committed 62 unforced errors.

Harrison has now reached the third round of a grand slam for the first time after recording just a second win over a top 10 opponent in 27 meetings.

“I started cramping midway through the second set. There was a lot of nerves and stress,” said 25-year-old Raonic who claimed that the pain eventually spread to his back and arms and that, as a result, he was unable to carry his bags.

Djokovic made the last 32 of a major for the 33rd successive time without hitting a ball when Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic withdrew from their second round encounter suffering an inflammation of the left forearm.

Vesely’s misfortune was a welcome boost for world number one Djokovic, who had required treatment on his upper right arm in his laboured first round win over Jerzy Janowicz on Monday.

Left-hander Vesely had defeated the Serb at the Monte Carlo Masters in April.

Djokovic will face 34-year-old Russian Mikhail Youzhny, twice a semi-finalist, on Friday for a place in the last 16.

Elsewhere, second seeded Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber made the last 32 by seeing off 34-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 6-2, 7-6 (9/7).

Kerber faces CiCi Bellis of the United States for a place in the last 16.

Two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, the 14th seeded Czech who recorded her best performance in New York 12 months ago when she made the last eight, beat Turkey’s Cagla Buyukakcay 7-6 (7/2), 6-3.

Kvitova was in her trademark all-or-nothing mood, mixing up 31 winners with 30 unforced errors against her 26-year-old opponent.

Kvitova now plays Ukrainian 22nd seed Elina Svitolina who put out Lauren Davis of the United States 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Britain’s Kyle Edmund backed up his first round win over world number 15 Richard Gasquet with a 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 victory over US wild card Ernesto Escobedo on the back of 53 winners.

John Inser of the United States fired 38 aces to beat Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (10/12), 6-3 and next faces Edmund.