Milos Raonic, from Canada, returns a volley to Roger Federer, of Switzerland, during a semifinal at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in Mason, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Kohl)
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When Rafael Nadal pulled out of the U.S. Open, his agony was sweet music to Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori, tennis' widely hyped but underperforming next generation.Nishikori has lost all seven times he has played Nadal while Raonic and Dimitrov have identical, depressing 0-5 records.Federer, looking for an 18th major in New York, is 6-0 against Raonic with two recent wins at Wimbledon and Cincinnati achieved without dropping a set, 1-0 against Dimitrov and 2-2 with Nishikori.Nishikori, meanwhile, was a first round casualty at the 2013 U.S. Open and it's six years since he had his best run – a fourth round place in 2008 .Like Raonic and Dimitrov – and unlike Nadal, Djokovic and Federer – the quietly spoken Florida-based Japanese player is erratic on the Grand Slam stage.Stan Wawrinka was 28 when he won the Australian Open this year while Murray was 25 when he captured his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2012 U.S. Open.
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