Raonic has now won all seven of his Wimbledon openers. His best run at the All England Club came a year ago when Raonic became the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam tournament final before falling to Andy Murray in straight sets.
The 26-year-old Raonic has struggled with injuries for much of this season, though, giving a walkover or altogether withdrawing from five tournaments so far this year. Last month, he fell in his grass-court opener at the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club. The 2016 London finalist lost to #NextGenATP Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis.
The Canadian, who also reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2014, struck 20 aces and landed nearly 70 per cent of his first serves against Struff, who was trying to end a nine-match losing streak at Grand Slam tournaments. Raonic failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the third set but came through in the tie-break to advance to the second round.
“After that first set, I had a bit more confidence. I played better I think overall. That was very positive. I’m just pleased to go through the first round in straight sets,” said Dimitrov. “First matches are never easy. But today was a pretty tricky opponent to play in an opening round. I’ve known Diego for quite a time. We had quite a few matches to play against each other. I knew it was not going to be an easy match.”