Milos Raonic – Canada Fan Blog an (unofficial) blog about tennis and Canadian player Milos Raonic


Raonic off to Tokyo

It appears that all systems are 'go' for the tournament in Tokyo next week. Raonic tweeted that he is looking forward to his return to competitive play at the Rakuten Japan Open.

So are we, Milos. So are we.

Raonic could potentially be seeded as high as No.8 if assuming there are no significant changes to the players list before the first round gets underway on Monday, October 3. Qualifying starts on Saturday, so it'll be a few days until we see the draw. Top players such as Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, and Mardy Fish will join Milos in Tokyo. On a side note, I'm sure Rafa is glad to see that Novak Djokovic will not be on the opposite side of the draw so there is no chance of losing to him in another final.

I'm still trying to come to terms with how Novak saved match points against Federer only to go on and beat Nadal in the US Open final. It's a crazy, mixed -p world out there. Hopefully having Raonic back on your will restore some balance to the force.


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Raonic pulls out of Malaysian Open

Sportsnet has reported that Milos Raonic has withdrawn from the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur. Raonic will be "out indefinitely."

It appears things are a little worse than they appeared after Raonic pulled out of Davis Cup and the following tournament in Metz. His return is being put off for at least another week, and there is no word as to what his schedule will look like for the rest of the season.

While the report states that "it was apparent that [Raonic's] hip was bothering him" during his Davis Cup loss to Weintraub, Raonic did not cite it specifically as an issue when he withdrew from further play. Regardless, there are a couple of big tournaments coming up in October, specifically in Tokyo and Shanghai (the latter being an ATP Masters 1000 event). Raonic is currently on the players list for Tokyo and would be seeded No.8 were he to play.

We eagerly await further news.


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2012 Davis Cup World Group Draw Announced

The draw for next year's Davis Cup World Group was announced this morning, and Canada will play France in the first round.

France is a seeded nation, having lost in the 2011 World Group semi-finals to Spain last weekend. Canada, however, will have the advantage of being the home team and will have choice of ground. This is good news for the team since they've been the visiting team all year starting with the North America Group I ties in Mexico and Ecuador, then playing in Israel for the World Group playoff tie.

The first round tie is set for February 10-12 of next year, but the location and venue has yet to be decided.

It goes without saying that France will be a tough team to beat in 2012. Not only did they reach the semi-finals this year with three Top-20 players (Tsonga, Simon, and Gasquet), but they were finalists against Serbia in 2010. But Canada will have the home crowd cheering them on in February. Assuming they are all healthy, fans will get to see the likes of Milos Raonic, Daniel Nestor, and Vasek Pospisil play for Canada on their home turf. The team nominations are obviously a long way off, but those names will no doubt be at the top of captain Martin Laurendeau's list.

More details on the Canada vs. France draw here.

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Canada to join Davis Cup World Group in 2012

Vasek Pospisil carried the Canadian Davis Cup team to victory in their tiebreak vs. Israel with a straight sets win over Amir Weintraub, 6-2 7-6(3) 6-4. Canada has earned their spot in the World Group for Davis Cup in 2012.

Israel evened the tiebreak at 2-2 after Dudi Sela defeated Peter Polansky in the first rubber match of the day. Polansky had to step in for Raonic who withdrew from play earlier today. Then it would all come down to the deciding match between Pospisil and Weintraub.

Building off his epic 5-set victory against Sela in the first round and the doubles win with Nestor yesterday, Pospisil came out firing in the final rubber. Vasek's serve was working well, winning lots of free points from aces and unreturnable first serves. Weintraub made a push in the second set and managed to go up a break. But Pospisil stayed with him and got the break back, eventually taking the set in a tiebreak. There would be no comeback for Weintraub in this one, and Pospisil was more than happy to win it in straight sets to secure Canada's spot in the Davis Cup World Group for 2012.

It's been a great weekend for Pospisil, who has had some very positive results this summer at the Rogers Cup and the US Open. Vasek won both of his singles rubber matches, as well as the doubles rubber with Daniel Nestor. It's one of the best individual performances by a Canadian in team history. Mission ImPospisil is the first Canadian since Nestor in 2000 to win 3 points in a Davis Cup World Group tie. Pospisil got on a roll at just the right time, and his reward is to see Canada join the Elite 16 teams in the World Group next year.

Canada hasn't been in the Davis Cup World Group since 2004. We will find out next week who Canada will face in the first round of World Group play in February, 2012.

“Vasek beat the state of Israel this weekend,” said Canada’s captain Martin Laurendeau. “It wasn’t just a quality team. It was the opponent and the heat and the crowd. It was just a gutsy effort from our horse." (source)

Well done, Vashy!


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Raonic Wtihdraws from Davis Cup / Metz

Milos Raonic has withdrawn from Davis Cup and next week's tournament in Metz, France. (source)

Raonic admits that he may have tried to come back from injury too soon. While he says his hip is fine, he is certainly feeling the effects of his tough 4-set match with Amir Weintraub on Friday. No doubt the food poisoning has prevented Raonic from making a smooth and manageable return. This is what Raonic has to say about how he feels on court:

"It's like all these little problems now seem so big. I get a little sick, and it seems to make such a big difference. I'm feeling a little slow out there, and suddenly it feels like I can't think the game as I play."

Pulling out of a the Davis Cup match is bad enough, but Raonic is delaying his return to the ATP tour for at least another week. He was entered into the upcoming tournament in Metz, but now Raonic feels that he is not ready to play.

Peter Polansky is now playing instead of Raonic, taking on Dudi Sela who lost the opening singles rubber of the tiebreak to Vasek Pospisil. Polansky is currently down a set to Sela. Pospisil will take on Amir Weintraub in the final rubber. Team Canada only needs to win one match today in order to advance.

Go Canada, go!


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Davis Cup – Day Two Results

Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil defeated Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram in their doubles rubber match today, 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-4. Canada leads Israel 2-1 in their Davis Cup World Group Playoff tiebreak heading into the final singles matches tomorrow.

The twin takes a lot of pressure off of Milos Raonic tomorrow, who plays Dudi Sela in the first singles rubber match on Sunday. Not playing Raonic in the doubles has given Raonic some extra time to recover from food poisoning, so hopefully he should be fresh for the match tomorrow. The good news is that Milos says the hip was not a problem during the loss to Weintraub on Friday.

Raonic's match with Sela isn't a must-win for Canada after taking a 2-1 lead in the tiebreak today. If Milos can't get it done against Sela, Pospisil will have a chance to come through (again) for Team Canada against Amir Weintraub in the final singles match. Vasek is riding high right now, coming off a solid summer hardcourt season and coming out on top in his first ever 5-set match yesterday. It fell on Pospisil to serve out the doubles match today who managed to close it out after facing a couple of break points an a very tight game.

The remaining singles matches begin at 7:30AM ET across all Sportnset regional stations. I imagine this national coverage has something to do with Raonic having the chance to earn Canada a spot in the Davis Cup World Group. Milos could use a win and a boost in confidence before getting back into regular ATP tournament play.

Read more from Tennis Canada here.


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Davis Cup – Day One Results

Canada split the opening day singles rubber matches in their World Group Playoffs tiebreak with Israel today.

The first match featured Vasek Pospisil who defeated Dudi Sela in a rather lengthy 5 set match, 7-6(4)  6-7(6)  6-1  6-7(2)  6-3. The momentum shifted back and forth throughout the match, most notably after Sela won the second set in a tiebreak and completely went away in the third. When Pospisil was serving well and the forehand was working well, he was able to dictate the points effectively. Sela made headway when Pospisil's game broke down, and fed off the crowd during some crucial points.

Things got a little heated during the second set when Sela thought some line calls were going against him. After losing a long rally where he thought he heard an out call for one of Pospisil's shots, Sela stormed the umpire's chair and walked halfway up the ladder to get right in his face. It was a tense moment, to say the least, and I can honestly say this was the first time I ever saw anyone climb up to the umpire to yell at him.

For Milos Raonic's return from injury he was matched up against Amir Weintraub. Raonic got off to a good start winning the first set, but we learned that he came down with a case of food poisoning a couple of days ago. This obviously did not bode well. As the match wore on, Weintraub picked up his level of play considerably. He was looking more and more energized as Raonic appeared to be running out of gas.

The second set was close, with Weintraub getting the late break to even the match at one set all. From there, Raonic couldn't get back out in front. His form fell off considerably later in the match, likely as a result of the rust Raonic accumulated during the time off. Weintraub went on to take the match in convincing fashion, 5-7  7-5  6-3  6-1. It is clear now that it will take some time before Raonic is match-tough again.

As of right now, Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil are scheduled to play the doubles rubber against Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram tomorrow. That match will start at 8AM ET on Saturday morning, and will be shown live on Sportsnet ONE.


Davis Cup on Sportsnet ONE

The Davis Cup World Group Playoff round between Canada and Israel starts this Friday, Sept.16. Sportsnet ONE will feature live coverage throughout the weekend beginning at 7AM ET on Friday.

Milos Raonic announced a few weeks ago via this tweet that he would make his return to competitive play at Davis Cup. The official team roster was revealed recently, with Vasek Pospisil, Peter Polansky, and Daniel Nestor traveling to Israel along with Raonic. The most well known player on Team Israel is Dudi Sela, who is ranked inside the Top 100 and recently lost in the 2nd Round of the US Open to semi-finalist Roger Federer. Sela was easily dismissed by Federer in straight sets.

In other news:

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Serena misses an easy one… – from Rogers Cup 2011 in Toronto

Serena Williams attempts to shoot a signed ball into the stands - misses twice, then resorts to successfully throwing the ball into the bleachers to huge applause!

What you see is actually Serena's second attempt in a row hit the ball into the stands, and after this 2nd failure she resorts to throwing the ball into the stands, and does so successfully.  That's why the audience is already laughing.  I wasn't quick enough with my cell phone camera to catch the first miss.

Serena laughs with the crowd as she attempts to hit a personally signed tennis ball out into the stands after her victory versus Alona Bondarenko (UKR) 6-0, 6-3, in the round of 64 (R64) of the Rogers Cup on August 9th, 2011, at the Rexall Centre at York Univerity in Toronto.  The Rogers Cup is part of the Olympus US Open 2011 series of tournaments. Looking forward to Milos Raonic and the rest of the men's game in 2012 at Rexall Centre here in Toronto.

- wacb


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