NEW YORK — For the second Grand Slam in a row, Canada’s Milos Raonic could not solve John Isner.
Despite forcing a fifth set, Raonic was overpowered in a battle of two of the top servers in tennis, falling to Isner 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 2-6 in a fourth-round match at the U.S. Open on Sunday.
Raonic was the last remaining Canadian in men’s or women’s singles at the final Grand Slam of the season
The No. 11-seeded Isner — a six-foot-10, 33-year-old American — beat Raonic in four sets in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
Isner has now won five of six career meetings against the six-foot-five Raonic, the No. 25 seed at the U.S. Open.
"I’ve definitely struggled with him, specifically," said Raonic.
"There’s other guys that are big servers that I’ve played better against. For me, I think the biggest thing is there’s not guys that make me hit returns above my shoulders. That’s sort of the hardest part for me. Today, I was much more successful going further back, buying my time, (but) I wasn’t sharp enough when I needed to be."
Things started out well for the 27-year-old Raonic, who broke Isner in his first service game en route to a first-set victory. But Isner did the same to Raonic in the second set to get back in the match.
Isner looked poised to win after winning the third set, but Raonic staved off elimination for one more frame.
However, Raonic who hails from Thornhill, Ont., sought treatment from a trainer for a hip issue before the start of the fifth set. He said injury plagued him — especially when jumping on his serve — for the rest of the match.
"Just started feeling like a bit of a sharp feeling in my hip. Tried to make it feel better. It was sort of a pain that dulled down, but I just wasn’t able to push that much," he said, noting that it bothered him after rising from his chair during a rest in the middle of the fourth set.
Raonic had hip surgery after a falling awkwardly during a second-round match at Wimbledon in 2011, but said the pain he felt Sunday was new.
He added that he should be "fine" in time for Canada’s Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against Netherlands in Toronto starting on Sept. 14.
Raonic then got off on the wrong foot to start the final set.
Isner surged ahead love-40 in the second game. Raonic won two straight points, but double-faulted to put Isner up a break at 2-0 and he never really recovered.
Isner finished with 20 aces while only hitting one double fault to Raonic’s 18 and 1, respectively.
The big American had the more effective serve overall, winning 86 per cent of his first attempts. Raonic took 80 per cent.
Isner also finished with more winners 56 to 47, while Raonic had fewer errors (19 to 25).
Meanwhile, Montreal’s Leylah Fernandez, 15, beat American Elysia Bolton 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a first-round girls’ singles match on Sunday.
Fernandez is seeded eighth after reaching the French Open semifinals.