TSN will be airing the match during their regular TV coverage tomorrow. Raonic versus Blake will be the 3rd match after 11AM on Grandstand.
Raonic ousted Paul-Henri Mathieu today with a scoreline of 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (4) in 2 hours and 10 minutes. The match was a fairly routine win for Milos, he did face a break point late in the first set, but took care of it quickly:
You can have a look at my comments while tweeting as @MilosRaonicBlog during the match, butin general, Raonic moved well, hit well, and served well. He played aggressively to create break opportunities and followed up with conversions. He took to the net numerous times, usually successfully. Mathieu was outmatched today.
Here are some stats. Note number of aces and first serve points won.
Thanks again to TSN for streaming it online at http://www.tsn.ca/live/usopentennis/ . I hope they keep up the online so we can keep track even if we're not sitting in front of our TV sets (saves us the trouble of using technical means to pretend to be Americans on the internet for the USOpen.org coverage)!
It looks increasingly like it will be James Blake waiting for Raonic in the third round, as he's currently up 2 sets to love against Granollers on Louis Armstrong Stadium. The 3rd round will be played on Saturday and Sunday for the Men's draw, with Milos most likely playing on Saturday. No timings yet, but I'll keep you posted here and on twitter at @MilosRaonicBlog.
UPDATE: I guess it will be a little later. Jack Sock's match versus Cipolla is in the beginning of the 2nd set.
TSN2 will be airing Raonic's match again, as well as TSN.ca (where it will be streamed live over the internet). Head on over to TSN.ca/tennis at around 2PM and check it out. Thanks TSN for covering it and for putting it on the 'net for us to see!
I was not able to watch the match today (I sometimes need to take time out from being a tennis fan to actually work!). I have it on good authority that the match went down like so:
Milos got a break at love to go up 4-2 in the first set and held on to the break to take that set 6-3.
At the end of the second set, with Milos serving at 4-5, he let the set get away from him with a poor service game. They were tied at a set apiece.
I'm told another poor service game gave Giraldo a break in the third set, which he was able to hold on to, now up 2 sets to 1. To put it as I was told: "maaan double faults goin e'rywhere. Giraldo goes up a break in the third. --multi"
In the fourth, Raonic and Giraldo broke each other, but after they got back on serve, Milos broke again, forcing a deciding set.
In the first service game of the fifth set, Milos had to save a break point. Not a good sign going into a 5th set. He was able to hang on and hold though (surprise, surprise). Raonic broke Giraldo in the final game, to win the fifth and deciding set at 6-4.
It was a shkey game for sure, probably not pretty to watch. We all know Milos is capable of such a better showing, and I look forward to improvements as we go through the rounds here at the US Open.
No timing yet, but Tennis Canada is reporting that Milos will be playing on Thursday for his second round match against Paul-Henri Mathieu (weather permitting), since his half of the draw won't play on Friday.
Paul-Henri Mathieu has 4 titles since turning pro in 1999 (9 years before Raonic). Mathieu, the 128th-ranked Frenchman, beat Igor Andreev (ranked 100th) in 5 sets in their first round matchup, having to come back from a 2 set deficit by winning the 3rd and 4th sets in tiebreakers, then winning the fifth 6-1. Milos has yet to meet Mathieu in a match on the tour.
Report from ATP World Tour: http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2012/08/35/US-Open-Tuesday-Berdych-Holds-Off-Goffin.aspx
Here's some info from the twitter-verse today, with links to some pics and a video interview with Milos Raonic, following his first round win today:
One fan had this advice for Milos (comment from the previous post):
August 28th, 2012 - 16:12
Raonic, great to see you pull that out of the fire. In your last few matches you were standing closer to the baseline and doing well. This match you faded further and further back which made the chore of winning increasing difficult. You have to stand closer to the court … you are putting yourself in poor positioning by standing so far back. I have criticized this before of your game and is probably the biggest issue confronting your success. You have to consciously make yourself play more aggressively by standing forward and then the success will come. I think your getting closer now. good luck at the US open this week (and NEXT!)
TOM simply mentioned it was a character builder. I tend to agree that this can be motivational - as Milos will expect more from himself than the perfermance he gave this morning. I suspect he did not like the feeling of being down 2 sets to 1 against a player he should be beating...
Milos will play Santiago Giraldo of Columbia on Court 11 tomorrow, starting at 11AM Eastern. The match will be aired live on TSN2, as tweeted by Tennis Canada (see below). Of course, the schedule may change due to rain... Order of play here: http://www.usopen.org/en_US/scores/schedule/schedule8.html
Giraldo will hope to do better than the straight-sets loss he suffered to Raonic in the first round of Wimbledon earlier this year (of which the last 80 seconds had to be played the day after the match began, due to rain delay).
Milos Raonic to meet Santiago Giraldo in the first round, potential match with Andy Murray in the fourth round.
August 23rd, 2012 - 19:00
Draw is out; Milos is in the second quarter, with Murray. His “on paper” path to R16: (with ATP rankings)
1. S. Giraldo (47) 2. I. Andreev (97) 3. M. Granollers (25) 4. A. Murray (4)
Not bad, overall: a “par” performance will take Milos to R16, for 180 points, and a probable ATP ranking of 15. If he can get past Andy Murray, he’ll meet Roger Federer, which of course we would all love to see.
The new rankings are in:
It was close... he's 10 points ahead of Gilles Simon and 5 points behind the Dolgo. Raonic is in the top-16, which is quite a good place to be 2 weeks before a grandslam tournament. Since the "seeds will be based on the August 20 rankings" (link), Raonic will not have to face anyone seeded within the top 16 until the 4th round (R16) of the US Open. There will be a top-8 player in Raonic's section of the draw that would be his 4th round opponent should they win their matches in the first three rounds. If that particular top-8 player doesn't make it to the 4th round, even the 4th round opponent will be outside the top-16.
for the record, 17th would have been fine (which is where Milos would be had Simon not lost early in Cincinnati) since at least Raphael Nadal has indicated he won't be playing in the US Open, freeing up his seeding position and bumping those below him up 1...
On the first service game from Wawrinka, both players were tentative, he had to save a break point before he won the game. The next game was a little sloppy from both players as well, but Milos pulled it off. 1-1.
In the following game, some errors for both players, but they got to deuce. Milos got another break point and Wawrinka dbl faulted to go down a break early in the match.
In the next game Milos was still shakey. In fact, both players still seemed nervous. Milos was able to hold though with some big power shots.
A big, easy hold for Raonic followed, pounding the ball from the baseline on serve and the shot following the serve, as necessary.
A few errors from Wawrinka, again, seeming nervous, gave Raonic dbl break pt. He lost the first one by sending a forehand long, but Wawrinka played a very poor point on the next rally. With Milos on the defence, the point turned around when Milos read the play well and Wawrinka didn't quite read it so well... Wawrinka tried to salvage with a volley at the net from his feet, but wasn't able to. Raonic up two breaks of serve.
Raonic played very well in the next game. He seemed to dominate every aspect of the game, serving, forehand, volleys, even defence on the baseline. He picked corners on big power forehands, winning easily. 6-2 in the first set.
Wawrinka was still uneasy. His first service game of the second set went to deuce. The ump made a good call to replay the point that was played at deuce when someone in the crowd heckled Wawrinka during the serve. Wawrinka had words with the spectator, and during the changeover, the ump assured him it was taken care of. Wawrinka was able to hang on to win the game.
141 mph ace from Raonic to start the next game, which seemed to wake up the crowd a bit. He's still on fire. After getting to 40-0, he lost a couple of points on errors, 40-30. Another ace put away the game though, 1-1.
Wawrinka started ok in the next game, but some errors crept in and it went to deuce. Some good volleys and a forehand down the line on a quick change of direction by Stan won him the game though. Still on serve, though Wawrinks
139 mph ace to start the next service game from Raonic! Then two aces up the middle, he's only lost 1 pt on a first serve to this point! The final attempt at an ace went just long, but an error in the rally that followed from Wawrinka ended a quick game in Milos' favour.
Wawrinka served well in the next game, with a couple of good forehands and an ace to top It off. 3-2 for Wawrinka, still on serve.
A quick, easy service game followed from Raonic. He's now won 19 of 20 pts when he gets the first serve in.
Wawrinka held the next game, as did Milos (including another 2nd serve ace). 4-4, 2nd set.
Stanislas held again, rather routinely. He seems to have loosened up lately, and the games are flowing a little better, with a few more rallies. Still though, Milos is dominating in aces, 1st and 2nd service pts won, winners, etc. 5-4 for Wawrinka, Milos to serve.
Ace, but a couple of errors, and it's 30-30. A great point follows, with Wawrinka working hard to cover the court extrememly well, but makes an unfortunate error on the next point after Milos put the volley in the path of his famous backhand. Milos holds. 5-5.
Wawrinka did well to hold on the next game, hitting some nice shots and exposing Milos' backhand a little. He hit another ace to close out the game. A mediocre game from Milos and Stan followed, but Milos held, here comes a tiebreak.
Milos hit a weak shot into the net on Wawrinka's first service pt. He then hit one long in a rally, but put in a good 2nd serve that Wawrinka wasn't able to keep within the white lines. Milos constructed a good point to follow though, getting his mini-break back. 2-2. Another long rally, and Wawrinka hit one that looked to be just long, though his challenge reversed the decision and they replayed the point. Another decent rally was played, and then Wawrinka hit a ball long enough that hawk-eye couldn't save him. Milos up a mini-break. A good hold from Raonic on the next point, but Wawrinka passed him on the next pt. Back on serve.
Wawrinka hit another ace, very competitive to end this 2nd set. An error from Milos gave him another mini-hold, and we're still on serve. Milos committed an error on a rally following his 2nd serve. 4 consecutive pts for Wawrinka following Milos' 4 pt streak. Now Wawrinka has 2 set pts. He sends the rtn of serve long on the first one, but on the next pt, after his second serve, he picked the corner on a powerful forehand. 1 set each now, 3rd set to follow. Wow, Wawrinka picked the right time to start outplaying Raonic!
A quick, easy hold for Raonic to start, apparently not shaken by the momentary surge from Wawrinka that allowed him to go up that mini-break. A hold from Wawrinka, but Milos, for the first time in the match, dropped his level of play during his service game for long enough to give the first break opportunity to Wawrinka. He converted on an error from Milos. A bad overhand smash miss, a bad forehand miss into the net, and all of a sudden an hour and a quarter of dominance gives way to a break for Wawrinka.
Raonic tried to turn it up in the next game to get it back, getting to 30-30, but he put in a couple of errors trying to outpower Wawrinka as he'd done in the first couple of sets. Wawrinka holds, then Milos was on his way to a hold, until an error and double fault brought it to deuce. He made us nervous on a fault on his first serve, but the 2nd serve that Stan couldn't return made up for it. His next serve was also a zinger, allowing him to barely hold on to hold Wawrinka to a one break advantage.
Wawrinka put in his best game of the match on his service game. He held at love.
Continuing his form into the next game, Wawrinka showed some of the skill that he used to get into the top 10 earlier in his career. It seems like he's starting to figure out how to return Milos' first and second serves (hopefully he keeps it to himself!). No free points and he had to work hard for it, but Milos gets the hold. 4-3 for Wawrinka, who will serve to stay on top in the 3rd set...
Milos came out hungry again in the next game. Outlasting Wawrinka on the first point, and constructing a good point on the 2nd before putting an attempted winner into the net cord. He wasn't able to rtn Wawrinka's next serve. 30-15 for Wawrinka. Stan tried to go behind Milos on the next rally, but Milos read the play and held his ground during the shot, and Stan forced it wide. The next rally was slow, and Wawrinka put in a sloppy forehand error, unusual for him so far in the 3rd set. Brk pt for Raonic. Wawrinka required a 2nd serve, but he impressed with a great forehand error. Deuce. As the longest rally of the match ensues on the next point, we get the feeling this game means a lot to both players... Wawrinka sends a shot long, and it's adv Raonic, brk pt. He put a shot into the net though, going back to deuce. Wawrinka did well to construct and win the next couple of points, holding, but just barely. Best tennis if the match thus far! Raonic serves to stay in the tournament...
Starting with a first serve ace at 134 mph and some big power on the next point, Milos sped to 30-0. Another of his famous 3-shot rallies (incl his serve, of course) put him up 40-0. His next similar attempt went into the net though and he dbl faulted pretty badly on the next pt to make it 40-30. He pounded an ace next though, out wide. 5-4 for Wawrinka, who has an opportunity to serve out the match after the changeover...
Wawrinka opened up with a big point, pounding a shot down the line at 100 mph. Another big powerful shot across the court put him up 30-0. He threw in an ace next, 40-0. He missed an overhand attempt on a defensive lob from Milos, 40-15. Wawrinka held on to win the match.
Kudos for Wawrinka to play so well after being down in that 2nd set tiebreak. Not only did he raise his level to win that tiebreak, but he kept up the level for enough of the 3rd set to get a break and hang onto it to the end. A great, entertaining match, showing exquisite quality from both players! Bravo!
Berdych had trouble serving the 1st and 3rd game, going to 0-30 in both right
off the start. Some errors and poor serving contributed to that.
Berdych was able to come back in both games though. Milos took care
of his serve quite easily in between.
Milos' 2nd service game was even more concincing than his first. He
sped to 40-0, drawing an error from Berdych on a second serve to get
to 15-0, then a forehand winner and another error from Berdych to get
game point. Berdych sent another return of serve long to even it up
at 2-2. So far, Milos is by far the better player, as Berdych has a
shakey start to the match. Milos didn't even have to make a 1st serve
to win that game at love...
Next game, Berdych put in a couple of errors on the forehand again,
allowing Raonic to get to 30-30. Raonic then sent a forehand flying
high off the edge of the racquet, followed by another error on an
attempt to throw a backhand down the line. 3-2 for Berdych, on serve.
The next three service games went quickly in the servers' favour. 4-4.
Berdych got his first point in the next game on a passing shot down
the line. It looked like Raonic thought it'd go wide, but it caught
the back of the line. Berdych tried to do it again, this time he did
send it about a foot long, and Milos let it go appropriately. Some
more aggressive play by Raonic forced Berdych into the net on a
forehand. In general, up to this point, Raonic looks to be more
aggressive, which has been helping him. A bad call by the line judge
brought it back to 30-30 though, not sure what the ump said, but I
think he just didn't say anything. It's a shame, you could almost see
in the line judges face that she knew she made a mistake, but it was
too late. An awesome defensive shot followed by an amazing run across
the court for a passing shot down the line gave Raonic break point,
before outlasting Berdych in a baseline rally, which Berdych sending a
forehand into the net. 5-4 Raonic, up a break, ready to serve out the
Raonic went up 15-0, but then put a routine forehand into the net,
perhaps to create suspense as he's done in the final game of many sets
recently I've noticed. He did it again though, down 15-30... But
then, like so many times before, an ace down the line when he needed
it most gets him out of trouble. 30-30. Powering through Berdych on
a baseline rally side to side, the next two points went Raonic's way.
1st set to Milos Raonic.
Berdych won his service game to start, but not terribly easily.
Milos returned the favour though, going down 0-30 to start his first
service game of the set. A forehand off the tape and out made it
0-40, and we can really use one of those aces... First serve went
into the net, then an aggressive approach on the net following a shot
that wasn't really good enough to do so. Berdych put a shot across
the court in front of Milos as he scrambled to cover the line...
Berdych up a break. A quick, easy hold to follow consolidated.
Milos' forehands are not doing him well now. 3-0 Berdych, Milos to
Milos went down quickly again, looking shakey and unsure.
Unfortunately for us Milos fans, Berdych has "rediscovered his Mojo"
and has triple break point very quickly. An error from Berdych saves
the first one, a couple of powerful serves forcing defensive shots
which were easily pounded away saved the next two. An ace gave hom
adv, then he pounded another serve down the middle which Berdych was
unable to keep in the court on the return. How quickly can momentum
change in a match! Milos shows us that amazing competitive spirit and
composure to rally for being down 0-40 in that one!
Still up a break, Berdych serves at 3-1. They split the first 2
points, but Milos wasn't able to put a few shots where he wanted them.
Berdych won the game almost completely on unforced errors by Raonic.
Unforced errors from his racquet almost cost him the game too though,
it was a close game. Still down a break, Milos serves at 1-4.
Pushing Berdych side to side, Raonic draws an error on the first
point. A 2nd serve ace gave him the next point. Then a first serve
ace followed by ANOTHER 2nd serve ace put away the game.
Berdych serving, up 4-2. 15-0 for Berdych, and the chair ump was able
to muster up the courage for an over-rule, they replayed the point and
Berdych went up 30-15. Raonic put a rtn of 2nd serve into the net,
Berdych up 40-0. An error (barely wide) by Berdych gave Milos his
first point of the game, but he sent the next rtn of serve long, 5-2
It started out as a routine hold, up 30-0 on an ace and an
unreturnable serve... but somehow Milos lost his "mojo" and Berdych's
came back again... Raonic put one into the net, unforced, then
Berdych hit an amazing forehand winner across the court from his
forehand. Berdych got break point on a forehand sent wide by Raonic,
and Milos double-faulted away the set.
Berdych won the first game of the 3rd set in routine fashion. It
looked as if Berdych had his second (third?) wind. Milos has his work
cut out for him in this set for sure. He will need to play at his top
level to keep up with Berdych playing like that.
Next game: Milos draws an error from Berdych, who sends a forehand
wide. Next: a serve that Berdych got a racquet on, but couldn't put
it in the right direction. Raonic made a statement with his next
serve as well, a clean ace. A dbl fault followed (though both looked
very close to me!); not to worry, a big ace out wide put the game
Berdych put his first point into the net, completely unforced, but
facing Raonic who was charging for the net. He dbl faulted again,
giving Milos an opportunity at 0-30. His next 2nd serve was very slow
though, perhaps that was the cause of Milos' forehand going long.
Another unforced error, this time on a clumsy backhand near the net,
gave Milos dbl brk point. The first rtn of serve went long, but some
awesome rallying on the baseline from Raonic, forcing a defensive lob
from Berdych to the back of the court, gave Milos an opportunity to
smash... Berdych didn't have a chance on the powerful shot to the
corner from Milos. First break of the 3rd set goes our way!
Wow. A quick hold at love, no rallies required, puts Milos up a
seemingly solid 3-1. I hope Stan Wawrinka is watching this! The way
Milos has out-powered Berdych for most of the match must be
The next game was tricky. Berdych seemed off to a good start, showing
Milos that he too could hit aces, and Milos put a couple of forehands
long. 40-0 for Berdych on his serve. But here's the tricky part:
Milos answered with a passing forehand as Berdych moved toward the net
on the next point, he made a great move to the net on the next point,
beating Berdych again, forcing an error, and Berdych's second serve
was sent whizzing by him to go to deuce. Berdych sent a backhand wide
on the next point, giving adv. To Raonic. A well placed serve down
the line that Milos wasn't able to return brought it back to deuce,
but Milos won the next point on a long forehand from Berdych. He
saved that break point with another ace (2 of Berdych's 4 aces so far
hit in this game). Berdych won the next rally coming into the net,
and Milos put a backhand long and Berdych escapes... Milos to serve,
still up a break.
Next hold was easy for Milos, and he then got up to triple break point
against Berdych, including a dbl fault. He aced the first brk point
away, and another 2nd serve that he slowed down considerably beat
Raonic again, with an error into the net on the return of serve.
Berdych then made a mess of a seemingly easy volley with Milos at the
back of the court, not making it over. Milos up another break. 5-2
with an opportunity to serve it out. Milos let out a little yell when
he got that break, a rare but welcome show of emotion during the
match. Surely this match is all put away now!
A SECOND SERVE ACE gave Milos the first point, a blazing first serve
ace gave him the second one. 30-0. He sent a forehand just wide on
the next rally though, but followed up with an ace down the line, 20
ACES so far. Another blazing serve that Berdych couldn't return gave
hime the match. Wow!
If anyone didn't think Milos deserved to be in the QF last week in Toronto, after getting a walkover from Andy Murray, I think they've just been silenced! Milos put in a solid performance, his 7th win over a top 10 player (how many other young up-and-comers can say that?), and there's no signs of slowing down. Wawrinka should be worried a little bit, I think his biggest challenge of the tournament will come tomorrow versus Raonic!
I will tweet from @MilosRaonicBlog when I know what court and time we can expect to see the Raonic / Wawrinka match. It doesn't look like Sportsnet showed it today unfortunately, judging by the tweets I received. If anyone saw it aired anywhere, let us know with a comment. Thanks!
Some important info:
From CincyProTennis' Youtube Channel:
Pics from @CincyTennis:
Raonic def. Baghdatis
I didn't catch the first half of Milos' match today against Marcos Baghdatis. He lost to a tiebreak in the first set, but a single break in each of the second and third sets sealed it for Raonic at 6(6)-7, 6-3, 6-4. Milos did win 6 games in each set, and saved 6 (of 6) break points. Though I didn't see it, I imagine from the scoreline that the 1st set tie-break was also close.
I mentioned that Milos saved 6 (of 6) break points. It's the "get out of jail free card", that ability to serve an ace when he needs it most (like, say, the 2nd serve ace he served today) that keeps popping out as the key to victory in a sport where the ability to come up with the big points under big pressure can mean more than an hour of beating around the baseline. How frustrating it must be for opponents in those situations, to have an opportunity to break the best server in the game, then see it helplessly slip away.
Baghdatis did well to keep the scoreline where it was, considering he was only able to make about a third of his first serves. Milos was able to make two thirds of his, which is about the threshold where any lower gets us worrying.
From me (WACB):
While the service games on both sides were generally quick in favour of the server, Milos, as I mentioned, was able to dissolve Marcos' chances quickly (all 6 of them), while he was able to capitalize on 2 of 3 of his chances to break. This is another tell-tale sign of champions in this sport, the ability to ramp up your game when those opportunities present themselves. It is the type of thing we see players like Federer do, going through a match back and forth on serve until an opportunity presents itself or is created, and then having the skill and confidence to be more aggressive, and step up the play to convert. Milos showed these champion-like qualities today from my perspecive.
Yes, tougher than expected: another character-builder for Milos, as well as a nail-biter for fans! Baghdatis came out full-bore, and Milos seemed shaky to begin with. But he maintained composure (as usual!) and got himself back on form for the come-from-behind victory. Still on track for 16-seed at US Open, fingers crossed.
I agree Robert regarding Milos’s performance at home.He will perform better next time.
I did predict Milos would make his move at Cincy and US OPEN so again hope I’m right.
Magnificent ! That’s a good victory by Milos ! His defeat in Canada was due to the pressure playing home. He shows there he is better than Isner who was beaten by Gasquet. Congrats Milos !
---was there REALLY any doubt that he was better than Isner???
NOTHING. On that note, I thought it was interesting that when I went to the ATPWorldTour.com page just now, that it showed this:
... down in the "1,328,740 People like ATP World Tour" section. I don't have a facebook account in any form and I never have, I'm not logged in to web-based email, this site's twitter, my Masters 1000 fantasy draw account, etc. right now, so I'm taking this as a coincedence. There's about a 1 in 132,000 chance that I will see him as one of the randomly selected faces from all over the world each time I visit ATPWorldTour.com, and this time he popped up.
I believe it's a sign. The "multi" who used to post on this site has been too busy with the Olympics and has apparently lost his way... He's a much better writer than I am, so if you want him back, leave a comment to that effect and I will make sure he gets the message!
Up next: Tomas Berdych
Milos has never faced Berdych before on tour. With Tomas' style of play, I think Milos will have some trouble. Tomas is big and powerful too, and has a lot of experience playing at that level, having been around a bit longer than Milos and playing Grand Slam finals and all that...
The good news is that if Raonic survives Berdych tomorrow, he'll be up against Stan Wawrinka instead of David Ferrer. Stan won today in straight sets surprisingly easily. Given Milos' record against Ferrer (lost 4/4, twice on hard courts and twice on clay), I like his potential versus Wawrinka or Nishikori much better. Though he's never met either on tour, Milos now outranks both and would be the favourite in either case. Nishikori and Wawrinka will play on Court 3 tomorrow, not before 2:30pm EDT, the Raonic/Berdych matchup will follow directly afterward on Court 3, with the winners of these matches playing each other in the QF. (note: I watched Federer v. Bogomolov Jr. today, and Federer is definitely on track to play well enough to be in that eventual semi-final for the top half of the draw!)
Though it's on Court 3, it looks like the match will happen during the supper break between the afternoon and evening sessions, so the Grandstand and Centre Court will probably be empty. This is promising for coverage from Sportsnet, who's airing the tournament most of the day tomorrow on Sportsnet ONE. ( http://www.sportsnet.ca/tvschedule/ )
Of course, you can always just follow me on twitter at @MilosRaonicBlog (link), I'm hoping to be home from work tomorrow in time to watch it and if so, I'll keep you all updated!
Here's a little treat posted on the tournament's Youtube channel (what are the chances that we'd pick the same mixed doubles partner?):