LONDON--Milos Raonic says he's not haunted by the memories of the Wimbledon tumble that wrecked his season last year.
But just in case, Raonic acknowledged today that he has asked All-England Club officials not to place him on Court No. 3 for any of his matches. That was the court on which he fell against Gilles Muller of Luxembourg and wrenched his hip, an injury which required surgery and knocked him out for three months.
"They said they didn't see a problem," he said today. "But no promises."
Raonic will face Sam Querrey of the U.S. on Thursday - no court has yet been assigned - after needing only two minutes and nine seconds to finish off his victory over Santiago Giraldo of Columbia this morning at Wimbledon in five quick points.
Stopped by rained late Tuesday, Raonic was serving for the match at 6-4, 6-4. 5-4, and had a whole night to think about delivering the knockout blow when the two resumed play just before 2 p.m. today.
Raonic started with his 20th ace of the match down the middle, as if to send Giraldo a strong message that he had no hope of climbing back into the match. Giraldo's return of a second serve sailed long to make it 30-0. Raonic then double faulted, perhaps an expression of how amped up he was, then unleashed another lethal serve down the middle that Giraldo barely got a racquet on.
On match point, Raonic's serve coaxed a weak, high return, and he smashed the ball off the court and over the 10-foot fence to end the match and avenge a loss to Giraldo in their only previous match two years ago.
The 21-year-old Raonic and the 24-year-old Querrey have never played. Querrey, once ranked as high as No. 17 in the world, is now No. 64.
Raonic said he believes he has learned how to let his body go when he slides on the sometimes slick grass courts here, rather than try to quickly regain his footing.
"I'm more cautious now," he said.