By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Milos Raonic’s machine-like advance through the Australian Open suffered a brief glitch against Gilles Simon but the Canadian re-booted to delete the dogged Frenchman 6-2 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3 and reach the fourth round on Saturday.
Third seed Raonic lost his first set of the tournament and his composure against the indefatigable Simon, whose hard running and passing shots threatened to turn the game on its head at a heaving Hisense Arena.
Raonic drowned out the Gallic cheers by capturing the decisive break in the sixth game of the final set and sealed the match with a big kicking serve that Simon could only parry into the net.
Raonic, a semi-finalist last year, next plays 13th seed Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the quarter-finals.
(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)