Update, April 27th: Nadal defeats Raonic 6-4, 6-0. Nadal was on in the 2nd set, enough to push Milos right out of the match. Hopefully some positives for Raonic out of this, as he is responsible for Nadal having elevated his game- Almagro had better be ready for a good match tomorrow!
Update, April 26th: Milos defeats Gulbis and Robredo, sets up a semi-final match-up with Rafa Nadal tomorrow, April 27th! Catch it LIVE on Sportsnet ONE at 10am ET, 7am PT. Thank you Sportsnet!!
Update, April 25: Convincing 6-4, 6-2 Victory for Milos in his 1st Match in Barcelona over Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Milos' next Opponent will be Ernests Gulbis. [Daniel] ** Rain-delayed; now scheduled for Friday, April 26: two matches. **
Update, April 23: E. Roger-Vasselin has won his match against Hajek, so will be Milos' second round opponent, first up (11:00am) April 24 on Pista 1. Meanwhile F.Verdasco has fallen to qualifier Ernests Gulbis (ATP#53) who now waits for a potential third round match with Milos.
April 20: The Barcelona draw is out: >> http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2013/425/mds.pdf << ...and it's not a bad one for Milos: as 5th seed he starts with a bye; in round 2 will play the winner of Edouard Roger-Vasselin (ATP#81) vs qualifier Jan Hajek (ATP#89). If Milos gets past second round he will likely meet [not Tuesday; probably Wednesday] Fernando Verdasco (ATP#31) -- very much at home on clay, but not having a great year so far. Success vs Verdasco would take Milos to the QF, likely against the winner of a Berdych vs Dimitrov match; either way a challenge, but a match to look forward to!
Update, April 20th
Monte Carlo finals just weren't meant to be for RaoTom-ic. They lost 6-3, 6-3 to the Bryans this afternoon...
Update, April 19th
Raonic/Tomic will take on Bryan/Bryan tomorrow in the Semi-Finals of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters. They are scheduled to be the final match on Court Central, directly following the Djokovic v. Fognini singles semi, which will start not before 3pm local time. I estimate that we'll get to watch the Milos starting around 11am (no sooner), but maybe as late as 12h00, noon, Eastern Time (EDT). Thanks to the schedulers for making their match timing North American lazy-weekend-day friendly!
I wouldn't mind seeing Milos have another shot at a doubles final, the first one in Halle with Robin Haase was exciting, though they didn't get away with the title. I'll definitely be watching the singles final on Sunday if it's Murray v. Djoko, a Milos match would do well to top it off...
In other news, Sportsnet.ca will be streaming the CAN v UKR Fed Cup matches from Kiev. This starts streaming online at 6am Easter (EDT) tomorrow. It will be accessible at:
Update, April 18th, again.....
RaoTomic will play the winner of the Bryan/Bryan vs. Melzer/Paes match, which is last up on "Court des Prince" tomorrow, Friday, April 19th. As per the last update, Tomic and Raonic have made the doubles semi-finals in this, their first clay-court tourney of the year (though they both came up short in singles). Monte Carlo 2013 may yet hold some glory for these youngsters, considered among the top future players on the ATP tour.
Update, April 18th
So, Milos Raonic and Bernard Tomic defeated Daniel Nestor and Robert Lindstedt in doubles today in Monte Carlo. It was a straight-sets victory, though a tiebreak was required in the first set.
This was the first tourney for the new partnership between Nestor and Lindstedt, I'm not sure what led to the demise, but I'm hoping it's not any nagging health concerns of Nestor's, we need him healthy for Davis Cup in Serbia in September!
It wasn't on TV, but if anyone knows of any news/comment about the match, please leave a comment!
Update, April 17th
Milos lost his 2nd round match today versus Jarko Niemenin. He went down in a 3rd set tie-break, after what seemed to be too many unforced errors racked up. He was able to keep his own 1st serve stats up but he wasn't able to return well enough, except for periods in the 2nd set, to mount a big challenge on the Nieminen serve. In the 3rd set he won 25% and 36% of 1st and 2nd return points, respectively, to Nieminen's 17% and 67%.
I watched parts of the 3rd set and I must say he didn't seem focused, or sharp. It was not pretty to see Milos play at a lower level than he usually does! He didn't seem like his head was in it for some reason. The unforced errors caught up to him the tiebreak, and Nieminen took the win.
In other news, looks like Youzhny was up 5-1 in 1st set vs Djokovic, but now back to 5-4 as Youzhny continues to try to serve it out!
Update, April 16th
Milos Raonic & Bernard Tomic won their first-round doubles match against Cilic & Melo, 6-4, 7-6(3), 11-9. Milos vs. Nieminen is tomorrow, Wednesday, April 17th, 10:30am local time in Monte Carlo [1:30am PDT 4:30 EDT]
Update, April 15th
Original Post, April 14th
Milos is up 3rd on Court Central tomorrow, 15 Apr. The matches start at 10:30am local time in Monaco (4:30am Eastern (EDT)), so he'll probably be on around 9:30am...
He's up against Julien Benneteau of France, who has recently lost in the first round of Miami and Indian Wells and then lost his doubles match alongside Lldora during France's recent loss to Argentina in the Davis Cup quarterfinals. He did not play singles in last weekend's Davis Cup tie. Benneteau has only won one singles match since making the final in Rotterdam in mid-Feb, so there's no question he's in a slump and that he'll be hungry to bounce back after such disappointing results for the last 2 months.
In terms of head-to-head, Raonic and Benneteau have won a game each in their two meetings. Milos won their most recent meeting three sets to love, during last year's Davis Cup meeting between Canada and France (Canada's only win of that tie). Benneteau beat Raonic in Paris in 2011; a close match, Benneteau won the third set 6-4 after they'd each won a set by tie-break.
By the way, here's how I think the tournament will go : )
ATP World Tour Fantasy Draw: http://goo.gl/Ge7YE
Posted by wacb from WordPress for BlackBerry.
At times it’s easy to forget that Milos Raonic has only been competing on the main tour for two years. Raonic has made rapid progress since his stunning breakthrough at the 2011 Australian Open when he made the fourth round as a qualifier and we’re now accustomed to his name being bandied around as one of the most dangerous players outside of the top ten. It’s been a meteoric rise for the 22 year old who already has four ATP titles to his name and has established himself as a mainstay in the world’s top 20.
Raonic has all the tools to be a significant threat at the majors but there’s still some way for him to go before he starts troubling the likes of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray over best of five sets. However the promising thing for the youngster is that he’s already beaten Murray on the tour (on the clay of Barcelona in 2012) and come close to upsetting Roger Federer on multiple occasions even though there’s still plenty of room for improvement in his game.
He’s been making steady progress in the slams and he has been encouraged by his past two showings – reaching the fourth round at the US Open and the Australian Open, losing in straight sets to Murray and Federer. However before he can test the ‘Big Four’ on the biggest stage, he needs to improve his returning, often the Achilles heel of his game. The top four are all brilliant returners and experts at taming big servers and they know that if they can draw Raonic into longer rallies they can expose his sometimes lumbering movement and inconsistent backhand. And on their own serves, they don’t feel under so much pressure as they know they’ll get plenty of cheap points off the Raonic return.
Raonic admits as much himself but he feels he’s improving. “I think I'm getting quite better,” he told the media earlier this year, “I'm getting better in movement, more experience, how to deal with situations, my backhand, many things. My return game is getting better. All these kind of things I've worked on and I have a lot more belief and confidence in.”
“It's just really about incorporating them better into matches. Just sort of matching that (training) intensity in matches would definitely make a big difference. I think I'm getting closer (to the top four). I can't really put a time limit on it. The sooner the better. I just have to keep working away. When that opportunity comes up, I have to try to make the most of it.”
“The goal every day is to keep getting better, improve something every day. It's about sort of working away and hoping that time comes sooner than later, trying to make the most of it when it does. If you focus on those things too much, I think a lot of those things are out of my control. I try to focus on the things that I can control, that I have (a) say in. I can't really control if they're (the top four) getting better or how they are playing.”
Written by Raymond Doyle from Live-Tennis.com.
In reply to this blog post, tweeted by the Sports Editor at the Vancouver Sun, Milos said "let's do it Alex!!!". Could be a neat part of an exhibition match... Maybe other Canadian non-tennis athletes would like a shot, maybe line them all up have them take a few swings at it for a laugh.
Posted by wacb from WordPress for BlackBerry.
UPDATE (7 Apr) : Milos made quick work of Andreas Seppi today to send Canada to Davis Cup semi-finals. He did drop a set, but he seemed dominant throughout most of the match. SFs will be played in Serbia in September.
Check the @MilosRaonicBlog twitter feed for some pics and other info from today!
UPDATE (6 Apr) : Nestor and Pospisil won a long, 4.5-hour-or-so match against Fognini and Bracciali. 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 15-13. What a match! Singles tomorrow afternoon, where Milos and Pospisil will try to take Canada to semi-finals! An win by either Canadian tomorrow would get the job done and make further Canadian tennis history...
Milos will be up first in front of the Vancouver crowd against Andreas Seppi, currently ranked at career-high #18 and Italian #1.
UPDATE (5 Apr): Pospisil went down to Seppi. Raonic takes out Seppi. Canada's tied with Italy going into tomorrow's doubles match with Nestor/Pospisil trying to give #TeamCanada the lead. Raonic to face Seppi up first on Sunday, then Pospisil will face Fognini. Good (historic) weekend for Canadian tennis!
- Dancevic is out with a minor knee injury, Jesse Levigne replaces him as the spare.
- Pospisil playing singles first on Friday vs Seppi, then doubles w/ Nestor on Saturday, then scheduled for reverse singles on Sunday vs Seppi as the final match of the tie.
- Raonic will play Friday and Sunday as well, vs Fognini and Seppi respectively.
- SportsNet ONE will have coverage on TV all weekend, and it will be on RogersAnyplaceTV.com and www.itfteamevents.tv (official Davis Cup internet streamer).
- See their article here : bit.ly/Z4SnoY
- Link to article from DavisCup.ca below... Canada is ready and able to make further Davis Cup history and advance to Semi-Finals! Can't wait.
Posted by wacb from WordPress for BlackBerry.