Raonic hits record 47 aces in opening win at Queen's Club

LONDON (AP) — Milos Raonic sent down a record 47 aces and saved two match points while beating Cameron Norrie in the first round at Queen's Club on Monday.

Raonic's 47 was an ATP record for a three-set match since the statistic was kept from 1991. The previous record was 45 aces in 2015 by Ivo Karlovic against Tomas Berdych in Halle. Raonic's previous best was 38 in 2011.

“My serve has always been the most important shot to me,” Raonic said. “This small record, it’s something special, something meaningful. A fun stat to be proud of.”

Former runner-up Norrie was beaten 6-7 (6), 6-3, 7-6 (9) after holding match points in the last tiebreak.

Former world No. 3 Raonic has slipped to 186th in the rankings after three years of injury problems but the Canadian still possesses one of the game's potent serves. He wasn't broken.

Norrie had to endure a set of 225 kph (140 mph) missiles whizzing past him before pouncing in the tiebreak, saving a set point before edging ahead. When Raonic immediately broke the Norrie serve, the second set was decided.

In the third-set tiebreak, Norrie couldn't convert two match points and Raonic put one away with a forehand winner.

Meanwhile, seventh-seeded Holger Rune branded the court “terrible” after he kept slipping on the damp grass as he tumbled to a three-set defeat to Jordan Thompson of Australia.

Thompson won 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Frances Tiafoe retired after a nasty fall while trailing Australian qualifier Rinky Hijikata 7-5, 4-6, 1-0.

Third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, the 2014 champion from Bulgaria, eased past Adrian Mannarino of France 6-1, 6-2.

The Associated Press