MELBOURNE, Aus. - After both players struggled to adjust to the sweltering heat during the 46-minute opening set, the opening match between Milos Raonic and Spain's Daniel Gimeno-Traver, it soon become a separation between the men and the boys. Soon enough, Raonic would pull away, winning the opening match of his quest for an Australian Open fairly easily.
After a hard-fought 7-6 (2) win in the opening set, the native of Thornhill, Ontario began to make his mark against the 77th-ranked Spaniard.
After cruising 6-1 in the second set, Raonic dropped the third set 4-6 but pulled away, clinching the victory with a 6-2 win in set number four.
While the temperature in Melbourne reached above 40 degrees Celcius, the 11th-seeded Raonic admitted to reporters after the match that heat was not a problem for him. Instead, it was the gusting winds that proved to be an issue, although not enough that he lost his composure.
On a day where even a ball boy had to leave due to the excruciating heat, Raonic was victorious despite the elements. However, not all Canadians were lucky on this day.
Canadian qualifier Frank Dancevic didn't deal with the heat so well as he was treated on court but continued on. Unfortunately for the native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, he fell to France's Benoit Paire 7-6 (14-12), 6-3, 6-4.
Dancevic later admitted that he started to feel faint before being stretchered out on court with doctors, trainers and ambulance personnel.
It certainly wasn't the start the Canadian youngster hoped for but with his health, winning and losing certainly shouldn't be a priority in the Dancevic camp.
As for Raonic, he kicks the Aussie Open off right and will now await his next opponent.