Raonic improved a lot, but mentally still not strong enough. Gifting Djoker too many free points in the 2nd set TB cost him the match.
Djoker performed like a pushing mug. No serve, no forehand, no backhand DTL, just pushing. Now dull has a much bigger chance of winning Rome if he does not play another 3 hours with Dimitrov tonight.
Hmm, the wrist wasn't bothering him from what I saw. How can you say that? Not the first time Nole has struggled against big servers! He lost to Isner twice in the past 2 years
I saw him hold his wrist a bit in the 3rd. Not sure how much of a problem it was though. Novak was far from his best he struggled to maintain any lead he got like the mini-breaks in the two TBs and the early break in the 2nd. He dug deep though and really turned the match around through his mental toughness. He should be pleased as the crowd were overwhelming supporting him.
Raonic played well, went for his shots and gave Novak a lot of trouble but it never looked like he could finish him off. Even when he got the mini-break back in the 2nd set TB, you knew Novak would find a way to win it.
Very impressive performance by Milos this week in Rome. He outplayed Novak for a large portion of that match and it was really on his racket in the 2nd set TB there. He just doesn't truly have the belief yet to get a top win like this done, but the major breakthrough is getting closer and closer. Playing like this on slow clay against the world's best shows again what he's capable of when his mind is right.
If he can translate this play to RG in a few weeks, there's really no reason he can't make the R16 (which would be a career best result) or even a QF there.