SAP Sponsorships has shared a pretty wicked contest with us where fans of Milos Raonic and Andy Roddick can enter to win signed tennis merchendise. To enter to win the signed tennis gear, you just need to let them know what makes you "Run Better". You can see full contest details and let them know what makes you "Run Better" in one of the following ways:
SAP Sponsors' contest page on Facebook:
... or, via the Sony Ericsson Open Mobile App, created by SAP:
I hope some of our readers are lucky enough to win! The contests' page says it's running until Sunday, April 1st, and that the winners will be announced on Monday, April 2nd. Unfortunately for Milos' Canadian fans, this one is for US residents only, probably because it's associated with the SE Open in Miami.
P.S. : SAP Sponsors has been kind to us at the blog by providing some media for our use and by keeping us up to date on "SAP Ambassador" Milos Raonic. I'll ask if it's possible to make the next contest open to Canadians, but I don't know enough about all this stuff to know if that's feasible or not so no promises!
Milos Raonic turned his ankle in practice before his doubles match yesterday. He tried to play on it, but was forced to retire early in the match. This is bad news, obviously. We hoped he would be able to play today, but unfortunately that isn't the case. Andy Murray will advance in a walkover.
— Sony Ericsson Open (@SEOpen) March 25, 2012
If it is any consolation, Raonic did improve on last year's result by reaching the third round. Milos was upset by Devvarman in the second round in 2011. We were all looking forward to the match with Murray, but now we'll have to wait and see how serious the injury is and how long it will keep him off court.
Update 1:44 PM Eastern:
From Milos, via twitter a few seconds ago...
Unfortunately I couldn't play today with my hurt ankle, time to rest up and get ready for clay. Thanks for the kind words to my supporters.
— Milos Raonic (@milosraonic) March 25, 2012
Excerpts of Milos' comments from the Canadian Press:
"I was just moving back and I rolled over my ankle and ended up spraining it,"
"I don't know too much about it right now, but in the doubles it wasn't getting better," said Raonic. "This morning it was a bit painful on pretty much every movement. Against the calibre of player I'd be up against, to play at 40 per cent didn't really didn't make much sense.
"The doctor in Spain doesn't think it's anything big. It probably just needs a couple days of rest, but active rest. With treatment and so on, it should be okay within a week or so."
"It's frustrating, but you must look at the big picture," said the Canadian with two ATP titles this season. "Everything is going well, obviously it would be more frustrating if things were going poorly.
"Even though if I might have some worries about something, I'm pretty good at coming back pretty quickly."
All this means that we should expect to see Milos in Monte Carlo starting April 14th, the next tournament on the schedule. The draw in Monte Carlo is 64 instead of 128. Since there's no round of 128, only the top 8 seeds get byes and only 16 players get seeded in the draw. Like last year, Milos will not be seeded. The top 8 seeds will include Janko Tipsarevic and John Isner in place of Roger Federer and Mardy Fish, who are skipping the Rolex Masters. Milos made it to the 3rd round last year (Round of 16), ending up going down in straight sets to David Ferrer.
Milos Raonic has reportedly rolled his ankle in his doubles match with Kevin Anderson versus Llodra and Zimonjic. This seems to be the first tweet on the subject:
Raonic retires with ankle injury
— Ricky Dimon (@RD_Tennistalk) March 25, 2012
Update 8:50PM Eastern:
Here's a report on the apparent circumstances of the retirement... unfortunately the match was not televised so us loyal fans were watching the score ticker and have to rely on what others saw.
If he called for the trainer during a changeover and then decided to retire, it's likely it's precautionary.... here's hoping.
Raonic looked fine. Suddenly at 2-1 changeover he calls for trainer. Retires on the spot. Let's hope its precautionary.
— Ricky Dimon (@RD_Tennistalk) March 25, 2012
Update 9:00PM Eastern:
Still nothing official regarding whether Milos will be able to play tomorrow. My guess is that it may be a few hours before we know publicly since he will probably want a full evaluation and discussion with his team, as usual, before making any decision about playing. Milos is normally very cautious, as we've seen. We will post here when more is known. On the bright side, Nestor/Mirnyi won their doubles match today.
Update 12:30AM Eastern:
Here's a few tweets from @OpenCourt (Stephanie Myles from Montréal Gazette). One regarding when the ankle roll occurred and the other one to showcase one of many reasons why we need Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal (or Milos Raonic??) at #1 !
Per Nenad Zimonjic, Raonic turned the ankle in practice before the match. Nice that he tried to play but doesn't sound great, does it?
— Stephanie Myles (@OpenCourt) March 25, 2012
Too busy with chest pumping to acknowledge Lahyani; really owes him +more for not docking him repeatedly for time twitpic.com/90wdiz
— Stephanie Myles (@OpenCourt) March 25, 2012
Here were the stats to the point of the retirement:
Milos Raonic defeated Arnaud Clement (FRA) in straight sets at the Sony Ericsson Open today, 7-6(7) 6-2.
Raonic was up an early break in the first set, but Clement was able to get back on serve and take the set to a tiebreak. It was a close one, but Milos was able to edge Clement out and win the breaker. The second set was all Raonic. He didn't face a break point during the second, and he brought his ace total up to 17 for the match.
For his efforts, Raonic will have the pleasure of facing No.4 seed Andy Murray in the third round. Murray is looking to bounce back after a disappointing early exit at the BNP Paribas Open. The draw has not been kind to Milos as of late, who had to face Roger Federer in the third round last week. But that's really determined by his current ranking. By the time the third round gets underway, there will be streams available online and Sportsnet ONE will have live coverage of the tournament.
The Raonic vs Murray match will probably be on Sunday, March 25. It's going to be tough for Milos, that much is certain. He was able to keep the first set close with Federer and come out on top in a tiebreak. The gameplan will likely be similar heading into the Murray match. Andy is notorious for mixing up his shots and he has a great return game. He won't give Raonic the kind of rhythm he likes so he can unload the forehand and get ahead in the points. It almost goes without saying that the serve, which was lacking a bit today, is going to have to be solid. If he can stay with Murray and keep the sets close, the pressure of the bombing serve might result in an opening for Raonic to steal the set away with a late break or in a tiebreaker.
It's another big test for Milos which will no doubt be a treat to watch.
Milos Raonic will face Arnaud Clement (FRA) in the 2nd round of the Sony Ericsson Open this weekend. The two have yet to meet on the tour and Clement is currently ranked No.153 in the world.
Update: Raonic will play 3rd on Court 2 today, so his match against qualifier Arnaud Clement should start around 3 PM Eastern Time. Coverage hasn't started at the tournament yet so the only way to watch will be the live score ticker!
Looking at the draw, it is likely that Raonic will have another difficult opponent waiting for him in the third round. At Indian Wells, it was Federer who put Raonic out on his way to winning a record setting 19th ATP Masters 1000 tournament. This week it could be Andy Murray who proves to be an insurmountable obstacle. But neither player has secured their spot in the third round yet.
Frank Dancevic made it through qualifying and faces Jeremy Chardy (FRA) in the first round today. Milos and his doubles partner Kevin Anderson (RSA) are taking on the French doubles team of Nicolas Mahut and Gilles Simon just before Dancevic takes the court. It is a funny coincidence that Canadian players all have French opponents given the recent Davis Cup World Group tie.
It appears that Sportsnet ONE coverage begins on Sunday, March 25 at 11AM EST. That means they won't have Raonic's second round match, and I'm not sure if there will be any streams available until the third round starts.
Here are the complete details for the Sportsnet ONE coverage.
Roger Federer came back from one set down to defeat Milos Raonic in the 3rd round of the BNP Paribas Open, 6(4)-7 6-2 6-4.
This was a highly anticipated match and it certainly didn't disappoint. Both Milos and Roger were on cruise control during the first set, each playing holding serve without much difficulty. Federer suffered only the slightest hiccup on his serve facing the only break point of the set. Raonic was finally able to gain the advantage in the tiebreak and successfully served out the set after getting the single minibreak.
The start of the second set saw Raonic get off to a slow start. Federer began to open up just as the effectiveness of Milos' first serve dropped off the map. From this point on, Raonic was forced to play catch-up to the great Mr. Federer who broke Milos twice during the second set. While Raonic was able to steady himself to start the third, it wasn't long before Federer would take the lead yet again. It may not have amounted to much but when Federer was serving for the match at 0-15, Raonic decided not to challenge a close call that would have been overturned in his favour. Raonic looked to be building steam for a push to get back on serve, but he let an opportunity slip away by not taking a chance on a challenge late in the match.
Raonic didn't look particularly nervous having to face perhaps the greatest player ever for the first time on a fairly big stage. He was more than able to hold his own against Federer, especially throughout the first set and the early games of the third. But Roger is still Roger. It was a great effort from Milos to push Federer to three sets and it was a real treat to watch. Raonic had his chances, but ultimately wasn't as consistent as his vastly more experienced opponent. Hopefully this isn't the last time that Milos has a crack at Roger. It might have been a different story if this was a best of five set match.
Overall it was a very strong and promising performance from Raonic. Not many players can say they won the first they ever played against Roger Federer. That's kind of a big deal in my books. It's just a shame that this was a third round match and not a quarter or semi-final.
It's a bit of an early exit, but there's another ATP Masters 1000 event just around the corner. Milos is on the players list for the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. Perhaps the draw will be a little more favourable this time.
Milos Raonic's match versus Roger Federer tomorrow, Tues, 13 March, will take place on Stadium 1 at 7 PM local time, (10 PM Eastern). It will be the first match of the night session there at Indian Wells on the 2nd day of the 3rd round.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 13, 2012
If you can't watch it live on Sportsnet ONE, you can always find the match streaming on the internet as that beats watching the score ticker.
Good luck Milos! Make it a great one.
Milos started off the match with a bang, winning the first two game at love. He eventually did go up another break before surrendering one of them at 5-2, eventually serving out the match on his next service game and winning the first set 6-4.
The second set seemed destined to start like the first, with Milos putting away the first game on Carlos' serve comfortably. In the next game though, Berlocq went up 0-40 to have three break points. Milos saved them all before challenging a fault called on an over-rule by the chair ump. Hawk-eye showed it was in by the slimmest measurable amount, and though the umpire and Carlos Berlocq agreed that the ball looked out, the rules are very clear that Hawk-eye wins in a challenge situation. Berlocq seemed to melt down after that successful challenge, and Milos pit away that game and dominated the next.
Serving for the set at 5-2, Milos again faced a couple of break points before bringing it back to deuce. He did do it right this time and put away the match, even if he did have to re-serve an ace after Berlocq finally got a challenge right! 6-4, 6-2, Milos wins convincingly with 19 aces in 1 hr 16 mins.
Next up... Newcomer of the year versus the greatest there has ever been
Roger Federer just finished his match against Denis Kudla with a similar scoreline, 6-4, 6-1. The much anticipated match-up between Federer and Raonic will probably occur on Tuesday night. I'll update when a more precise time is available, this is a match I'm sure you will not want to miss...
Milos will step onto Stadium 2 court in about an hour or so (around 9:45-10 PM Eastern) to play his 2nd-round match (though the Sportsnet coverage will probably be later since it's on tape delay - if they even show the Raonic match). He will be up following the Kvitova / McHale match which is on Stadium 2 right now at about half-way through the second set.
—Tennis Canada (@Tennis_Canada) March 11, 2012
Milos has never faced Berlocq on the tour before, but he's 5 inches taller than Berlocq, 8 years younger, 30 lbs heavier, and has a much better record so far this year with two titles and a 15-2 win/loss record. Berlocq, who turned pro in 2001, has never won a singles title (though he won in Stuttgart in doubles in 2010) but made his first finals last month in his native South America at Viña del Mar, losing to Juan Mónaco in 3 sets on the clay.
Given that Raonic is an amazing hard court player and Berlocq's strength is mainly clay, I'm pretty confident in Milos to come away with a win here.
In order to watch, you should be able to find the live streaming tennis online somewhere, or PVR the Sportsnet coverage in case it comes on very late. Roger Federer's match is starting at around the same time (10 PM Eastern) on Stadium 1 court, so the regular coverage that Sportsnet shows will probably be focusing on that the most. Your best bet is to search for a live stream on the internet as per the Tennis Canada tweet above.
Also, check this out, it might make you laugh:
— SAP Sponsorships (@SAPSponsors) March 8, 2012
Milos Raonic has been seeded No.27 at the BNP Paribas Open. You can view the the draw here.
As a seed, Raonic has a first round bye. He will face either Carlos Berlocq (ARG) or Benoit Paire (FRA) in the second round. Milos is in the same quarter of the draw as David Ferrer (5), Juan Martin Del Potro (9), and Gael Monfils (14). Of course, the obvious red flag in the draw is the possible third round matchup with Roger Federer (3). This is easily one of the biggest third round matches we could see in the tournament, and there is little reason to think someone might step up and spoil the party.
Aleksandra Wozniak has already qualified for the Women's Singles draw and she will face the young American wild card Sloane Stephens in the first round. That match is set to go later today. Both Vasek Pospisil and Frank Dancevic have advanced to the final round of qualifying and will be playing for a spot in the main draw this afternoon.
As far as I can tell, Sportsnet ONE's coverage of the BNP Paribas Open starts at 2PM EST on Saturday, March 10.
UPDATE: Milos Raonic will face Carlos Berlocq in the second round tomorrow. Raonic has teamed up with fellow giant Kevin Anderson (RSA) in the doubles and they are taking on the Bryan brothers later today.