“I allowed him to play too much on his terms,” Raonic said of his bad start. “I was getting the balls in and playing the points and playing maybe better-looking tennis at the beginning, and I gave up on that and said ‘I’ve got to play this on my terms.’
“Maybe I made a few more unforced errors, but I was hitting through the court more and not allowing him to play the way he wanted to.”
Raonic went ahead in the match for the first time when picked up a key break in the fifth game of the fifth set to go up 3-2. He held serve the rest of the way and put the 11th-seeded Belgian away on his first match-point opportunity.
Goffin had trouble returning Raonic’s serve, and the Canadian clinched the match with a confident forehand.
Still, Raonic expected to get more from his serve and was surprised to find Goffin using his speed to make unexpected returns.
“I definitely expected a few more free points.”
It wasn’t a pretty win. Raonic finished with 44 unforced errors, though he said some of those occurred when he changed his approach mid-match.
“It’s ‘feel-good’ tennis. You’re out there, you’re hitting a lot of balls, you’re getting in these long rallies, you’re feeling the ball … and that’s the last thing I want,” he said “Not just for myself but for the other guy.
Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., will next face 28th seed Sam Querrey of the United States, who downed France’s Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-4 Monday to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final. Querrey’s run includes a third-round upset of top-seed Novak Djokovic.
Raonic made the semifinals at Wimbedon in 2014 before losing to Roger Federer. The winner of the match between Raonic and Querry will face either third-seed Federer on ninth-seed Marin Cilic in the 2016 semifinals.
Looking in fine form after two days of rest, Roger Federer equalled Jimmy Connors’ Open-era record by reaching his 14th Wimbledon quarter-final and added to his own mark by making it at least that far at a Grand Slam tournament for the 48th time.
Federer, a seven-time champion at the All England Club, has not dropped a set in the tournament through four matches after beating unseeded American Steve Johnson 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 at Centre Court on Monday.
Johnson was making his debut in the fourth round of a major.
The No. 3-seeded Federer hadn’t played since Friday, when he was the only man to finish a third-round match. He next faces No. 9 Marin Cilic, the 2009 U.S. Open champion
Cilic claimed his fourth-round bout when Kei Nishikori was forced to retire due to injury. The fifth-seeded Japanese player was trailing 6-1, 5-1 when he decided to stop the match, giving Cilic a spot in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
If Federer gets to the final, he could face No. 2-seeded Andy Murray, who handily defeated No. 15 Nick Kyrgios 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 in the last match on Centre Court to reach the quarterfinals for the ninth successive year.
Murray, the 2013 champion, took command after Kyrgios was broken to lose the first set — missing a simple forehand volley on the third set point.
From then on, Kyrgios seemed to lose interest, mumbling to himself, hanging his head and giving an uneven effort. Murray played solidly, closing with an ace on his third match point, and setting up a quarter-final matchup with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The defending champion dominated down the stretch once the Centre Court roof was closed and eliminated two-time major title winner Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-0 on Monday. Williams won 24 of 29 points in the second set and finished with a 43-8 advantage in winners.
The No. 1-seeded American slipped during a point while she was getting broken to trail 5-4 in the opening set of the fourth-round match. Kuznetsova then served for that set, but Williams broke right back to make it 5-all.
That’s when play was delayed for nearly 30 minutes while the retractable roof was shut.
Venus Williams is also back in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.
The five-time champion beat Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 (3), 6-4 on No. 1 Court.
Venus last won the title at the All England Club in 2008. She reached the fourth round last year, but lost in the third round the year before.
Venus will next face Yaroslava Shvedova in the quarter-finals.