The Canadian pounded a 217km/h serve to open the bout, but Djokovic’s prowess on return was evident from the get-go.
The world No.1 was able to cruise through service games with consummate ease. Whereas Raonic, boosted by some exceptional inside-out forehand winners, was forced to fend off a break point at 3-3 and 4-4.
Turning defence into attack in a flash, chasing down a stop volley for a neat cutaway, Djokovic was still displaying his gobsmacking athleticism.
Like so many of his previous 299 Grand Slam victories, the 17-time major winner was the personification of resilience, offering only a handful of errors. In a whistle, Djokovic amassed the pivotal points to strut to the changeover a set ahead.
Ramping up the force on the groundstrokes, the Serbian was threatening to run away with it.
However, Raonic has been as high as world No.3, a Wimbledon finalist in 2016. He responded immediately, finally earning his own break points at 3-2. The forehand in particular was blazing, arrowing his favoured shot down the line and cross court to punish a wayward Djokovic game.