Canadian Milos Raonic wins suspended match to begin play at Australian Open
FILE - Milos Raonic of Canada waves to fans following his victory over Lucas Pouille of France during their first round match at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal, Monday, August 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA -- Canada's Milos Raonic won his first match since October on Tuesday, finishing off a suspended opening-round contest at the Australian Open.
The 32nd-seeded Raonic beat Italian lucky loser Lorenzo Giustino 6-2, 6-1, 6-3.
Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., was one game away from winning the match on Monday when rain washed out play for the rest of the day.
"To start off in that way, especially not having played a lot of matches, to play a pretty clean match and obviously to come back today and be efficient, all of those things are positive, something I can build off of," said Raonic.
Meanwhile, No. 20 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal was ousted in his Australian Open main-draw debut by Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis, who won 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4.
The 29-year-old Raonic was sidelined by various injuries for large portions of the second half of last year, hurting his ranking (which was a career-best No. 3 in 2016), but says he's feeling good in Melbourne.
"I was able to train for about six, seven weeks straight without any hindrances, no setbacks. I was thankful for that," said Raonic. "I came out and I was able to play in Doha and train before Doha, train here without anything.
"It's been fortunate so far."
Raonic will next play No. 36 Cristian Garin of Chile. Garin toppled and No. 82 Stefano Travaglia of Italy 6-4. 6-3, 6-4.
Giustino, ranked 150th in the world, was making his Grand Slam debut. He got in after Radu Albot of Moldova dropped out because of injury.
The Australian Open is the only Grand Slam Raonic hasn't missed at least once since turning pro. He has made the quarterfinals three times, including last year, and the semis once.
Raonic is Canada's first player to advance this year. Top Canadian male Denis Shapovalov, the No. 13 seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., was upset by Hungary's Marton Fucsovics on Sunday.
Also, Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil fell against Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (4), 6-4, 7-5.
And Leylah Annie Fernandez, the lone Canadian in the women's singles draw, was toppled by American Lauren Davis in a first-round match, 6-4, 6-2.
The 17-year-old from Laval, Que., won three matches last week to qualify for her first Grand Slam.
Top Canadian Bianca Andreescu, the reigning U.S. Open champ, withdrew from the Australian Open because of a knee injury.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020.