Oct 6th: As JasonX noted below, Milos was the better player. He had better stats on the match (for the most part, there was that whole "break points converted" and mini-break points converted" stat), playing very well, consistently, throughout. It's not too often someone goes an entire tournament without being broken until the last few minutes of the final... Either way, his play further confirmed that he belongs up there with the likes of Tsonga, del Potro, and the others who are biting at the heels of the top four.
Del Potro defeats Raonic, 7-6(5), 7-5.
— TennisTV (@TennisTV) October 6, 2013
— Gullpress (@Gullpress) October 6, 2013
Oct 5th: In about 3 and a half hours Milos Raonic will take on Juan-Martin del Potro in the final in Tokyo. Their last meeting was the controversial Toronto match where Milos' foot touched the net before the second bounce on a big point, but Layani didn't see it. There was some backlash after the replay showed, with many thinking Milos should have called the fault on himself.
Milos eventually won that hard court match, making it to the all-Canadian semi-final with Pospisil then to the Final with Nadal (another possible rematch, in Beijing next week).
Oct. 4th: Semi-final tonight, Milos vs Ivan Dodig on Sportsnet ONE 11pm ET, 8pm PT. Dodig won their only two previous encounters: a 3-setter on clay in Barcelona in 2011, then on grass this year at Eastbourne; so he's shown that he can win, if Milos is not playing well. On the other hand, I think we have reason to anticipate that Dodig will be facing a new and improved Milos Raonic tonight.
— 4superficies (@4superficies) October 4, 2013
— Tennis Update INA (@TennisUpdateINA) October 4, 2013
And how many pictures on my phone look like this:
— MilosRaonic Fan Blog (@MilosRaonicBlog) October 5, 2013
Oct 2nd: Talk about a silver platter - here's a recap of the rest of today's action/intel from Tokyo à la Tomaso:
Tsonga is out: lost to I.Dodig 6-4 7-6(5). Anderson is out: Lost to Lucky Loser Lukas Lacko, who replaced LLodra. Chardy squeaked by Chiudinelli in a 3rd set tiebreak 6-6(6). Bottom line: Milos not only is now the top-dog in his half of the draw, he's THE ONLY SEED LEFT! Next up: Chardy; after that QF - LL L.Lacko or Qualifier Roger-Vasselin; after that SF - Nieminen or Dodig. And after that, the Final. This is looking like a big opportunity. Let's go, Milos!!
Also, here's Milos' post-win interview from the Thailand final:
Milos' press conference after winning Thailand Open http://t.co/NS1t57rbFs
— Ciera (@baby_federer) September 29, 2013
Milos Raonic defeated Japanese wildcard Go Soeda 6-4, 7-6(0). Milos hit 24 aces (to Go's 3) and had a 95% first serves won percentage coupled with 61% on the second serve. Soeda did not have any break point opportunities and, as can be seen by the 2nd set tie-break score, it seems Milos had good control of the match.
While this match was not televised or streamed anywhere, his next match should be. He should play on 4 Oct (the day session that day will start in the evening on 3 Oct, Eastern Time). Milos won the match in Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon (about 12:30) before it even turned Wednesday, Eastern Time, in North America. Milos' opponent for 2nd rnd will be decided in a later match... del Potro is currently taking to the stage at centre court versus Carlos Berlocq.
— Tennis Updates (@tennis_updates) October 2, 2013
Here are pics of a lucky fan's souvenirs from Thailand:
— Wipawan (@NuyIeie) October 1, 2013
Raonic will take on Japanese wildcard Go Soeda in the first round of the Rakuten Open (Japan Open Tennis Championships). He is not scheduled for tomorrow, 1 Oct, so he will play on 2 Oct (Wednesday). Japan Time is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Time, so the day session on Wed starts 10pm on Tues Eastern Time...
Milos has faced Soeda once before, in the semifinals of a Challenger event in Granby, Quebec, Canada, in 2010. Raonic won in 3 sets (3rd set was a tiebreak). Soeda, ranked 113 on the tour currently, will likely not be able to provide as much resistance this time around...
Milos, in the bottom half of the draw of 32, would face either Jeremy Chardy or Marco Chiudinelli, the Swiss qualifier, in the 2nd round. Looking ahead, he'd likely meet Anderson in the QFs, then Tsonga (who beat Monfils today) in the SFs. First seed/wildcard Juan-Martin del Potro heads up the top half of the draw, alongside Almoagro, Tipsarevic, and home-town favourite/defending champion, Kei Nishikori.
Posted by wacb from WordPress for BlackBerry.
Milos stepped it up at the big points, breaking Gasquet late in 2nd and 3rd sets to set right the recent US Open loss that stole so many potential points (Milos would've beaten Ferrer too)!!!
"@Tennis_Canada: The Raonic v Berdych Thailand Open final will be shown live on Sportsnet ONE at 4 am ET. #Sleepisfortheweak #CdnTennis #goMilos"
Set your alarms folks.
Sept. 27: No "getting away with it" today: Milos put on a stunning display of how he can serve when he's firing on all cylinders, and backed it up with some great groundstrokes, lobs -- you-name-it. After the match commentator Robbie Koenig tweeted, "That was THE best serving display of 2013!" Nothing wrong with Lopez' play today, but he still managed to win only 8 points total off Milos' serve. An amazing 81% of service points won, based on 86% first serves in, including 19 aces, led to this 6-4 6-3 win. Tomorrow's SF match vs Richard Gasquet will take place approx. 3pm BKK time: Sportsnet ONE 4am ET, 1am PT. Also on tape-delay at 9:30am ET -- thanks TT.
>> http://www.sportsnet.ca/tennis/raonic-cruises-into-thailand-open-semifinal/ << Sep 26th: Milos got away with it today, though it was very close throughout almost the entire match. Not an impressive performance, but good enough to avenge the Washington loss to Matosevic a couple of months ago. I had a feeling from the length of the recording when I sat down late today to watch it that it was going to be a grind... Raonic is up last on Centre Court tomorrow, Fri, 27 Sep. He follows the Youzhny/Gasquet match which starts at 7:30pm local time (subtract 11hrs for Eastern Time, their match starts at 8:30am ET). This means Milos' match will take place around 11am ET. It looks like Sportsnet ONE plans to cover the day and evening sessions, importantly, listing coverage from 8:30am (start of Gasquet/Youzhny) to 12:30pm. Milos will be facing Feliciano Lopez in this Quarter-Final match-up, a friend who he had to face in the round of 32 at this year's US Open (winning in 4 sets after dropping the first set in the tiebreak). The conditions will be a little different but will likely favour Raonic even more. Sept. 25: Milos will play Matosevic third-up (about 3:30pm BKK time? 6:30am ET?) on Centre Court Thursday, Sept. 26. Meanwhile, a disappointing loss for Vasek: down in two tie-breaks to Delbonis. But Genie upset 6th-seed Jelena Jankovic 7-5 6-2 to make it to QF where she'll meet Venus Williams. UPDATE: Sportsnet's schedule (http://www.sportsnet.ca/schedule/) says they're playing ATP Thailand coverage from 1 AM to 5 AM, so it looks like we only get the first 4 hours. Hopefully that will be extended now that we know when Milos plays... Or perhaps they'll switch it to another channel that's showing re-runs of sports commentary. Sept. 24: Indoor hardcourt should be good for Milos who is seeded third behind Berdych and Gasquet and has a first-round bye. But he'll face a challenge second round from a strong Marinko Matosevic, who beat Milos in straight sets in their last meeting, in Washington, and who won his first round match 6-1 6-1. Meanwhile, other Canadians are doing well. At the Kuala Lumpur 250, after a slow start, 7th seeded (!) Vasek Pospisil defeated V. Hanescu 1-6 6-1 6-3; he'll face F. Delbonis in the second round. And in Tokyo our Genie Bouchard, after defeating Monica Puig in the first round 6-0 6-4, upset 9th-seed Sloane Stephens 5-7 7-6(7) 6-3. Genie will crack top-40 next week!
Sep 14th: This says it all:
— Jesse Levine (@jesselevine7) September 14, 2013
How awesome is Daniel Nestor? 21 years ago he started competing in the Davis Cup. Pospisil was two-yrs-old. Raonic was still a one-yr-old.
— Caroline Cameron (@SNCaroline) September 14, 2013
Unless Raonic can pull off a Miracle on Clay, this one will come down to Posipisil vs. Tipsarevic for a spot in the #DavisCup finals.
— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) September 14, 2013
Sunday Davis Cup schedule: 8 am ET (Sportsnet), Raonic-Djokovic, then Pospisil-Tipsarevic. A Canadian win, and the world final is in Canada.
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) September 14, 2013
Sep 13th: Milos Raonic let the match go to 5 sets, including giving Tipsarevic match points up 6-5 in the 5th, before taking that final set 10-8. Perhaps it was just to add to the excitement... Perhaps because it was Friday the 13th.
Here's a good pic of Milos' excitement after the match:
Tom Tebbutt's Thursday posting with plenty of pics and comments regarding Team Canada and happenings at the arena in Belgrade:
Update, Sept 12th:
Tweet from ArashMadani, looks like Djokovic is confirmed:
"BREAKING: Novak Djokovic just told me he has informed Serbia Tennis that he'll play Friday. Debate is over. "My country needs me," he said.
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) September 12, 2013"
The first day's action will be Djokovic versus Pospisil, then Tipsarevic vs. Raonic. Then, Saturday will have the Bozoljac/Zimonjic versus Nestor/Pospisil, followed by reverse singles on Sunday.
It's a tough ask for Pospisil, these 3 matches are big, emotionally intense 5-setters. From what we've seen though, I have a feeling his adrenaline can carry him through it.
Of course, Canada will be behind our team, though the distances involved make it unlikely that many Canadians will make the trip to see it. But, as Sportsnet reminds us, Nestor and Raonic were born in the former Yugoslavia (Nestor born right in Belgrade) and Pospisil and Dancevic have family connections as well (as their surnames suggest).
"And while it’s the Serbians with home-court advantage, the Canadians won’t exactly feel out of place, as each team member has a family connection to the region." --http://www.sportsnet.ca/tennis/cameron-canada-in-new-territory-at-davis-cup/
Visit DavisCup.com for info on official live online streaming and other updates and news.
Update, Sept 11th:
Looks like Novak Djokovic will be avail for the Davis Cup tie's first day. Here's a report from Tom Tebbutt from Belgrade:
Here's a neat article about Yvon Gilbert, the string-maestro for Canada's Davis Cup team and the Rogers Cup:
First off, here's a sneak peek from the twitter-verse of Milos practicing on the clay in Belgrade:
Looks like a new "uniform" for Davis Cup. Same large white maple leaf in upper left chest. Looks sharp. Sharp enough to win.
And an update from Tom Tebbutt: http://www.tenniscanada.com/index.php?title=TEBBUTT:-THE-BIG-HYPOTHETICAL&pid=4970 <<