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

16Aug/12Off

Milos Raonic def. Tomas Berdych

1st Set:

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
set!

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.

2nd set:

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
serve.

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
Berdych.

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.

3rd 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
away. 1-1.

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
intimidating...

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!

Final thoughts:

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:

http://twitter.com/Tennis_Canada/status/236252718619045888

From CincyProTennis' Youtube Channel:

Pics from @CincyTennis:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151030195409807.435700.71769289806&type=1

--wacb

15Aug/12Off

Raonic def. Baghdatis. Next up: Thomas Berdych

Raonic def. Baghdatis

Summary

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.

https://twitter.com/MilosRaonicBlog/status/235841501962305536

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.

Highlight Video

Stats

 

Commentary

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.

From Tomaso:

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.

From TOM:

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.

From Robert:

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???

From multi:

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?):

--WACB

14Aug/12Off

Milos in Cincy – Western & Southern Open Preview

UPDATE on how to watch tonight's match (thanks Tomaso):

https://twitter.com/MilosRaonicBlog/status/235471587321737217

Milos Raonic to face 2012 Rogers Cup Masters 1000 finalist, Richard Gasquet, in first round of Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati

Fresh off an excellent result in last week's rain-ridden Masters 1000 tournament in Toronto, Richard Gasquet is set to meet Milos Raonic, who was almost his semi-final opponent last week.

The match is set to take place not before 7 pm local (Eastern Daylight Time) on the Grandstand Court.  This court is televised, so you can probably easily find a live stream of the tennis using your favorite search engine.

Both players entered the top-20 as a result of their success in Toronto at the Rogers Cup, Milos for the first time, and as for Gasquet, though he's dipped in and out of the top-20 many times, he hasn't been ranked as high as his current #13 position since August of 2011 (he was actually as high as #11 in July 2011).  A QF result or better would mean another gain in points for Gasquet, who hasn't been in the top-10 since July 2008.

As for Milos, he will continue to work toward his own ranking.  Though making it to the top-16 before the US Open is not out of reach, it would be hard work.  A semi-final result will almost certainly be required for such a seeding heading into the US Open, but the most likely opponents he would meet along the way would be Gasquet, Simon (je suis tres desole, Robert), Berdych, and Ferrer, in that order.  Top-seeded Roger Federer would be the most likely opponent in the semi-final, as he and Djokovic battle it out in Cincy to see who will be #1 heading into the US Open (read more in the ATP article here).

N.B.: It's very nice to see Roger Federer's name on the right part of the draw!  My favorite thing about Djokovic's quarter of he draw is that we will very likely see a rematch of the Toronto semi-final with 7th-seeded Janko Tipsarevic, this time in the QFs.  I think Tipsarevic deserved a better result than what the scoreline read in Toronto, and it looks like he'll get his chance.  Both of these top Serbian players are extreme competitors, but also know how to get along well in the locker rooms, the evidence would suggest.  This pic was tweeted by Janko Tipsarevic during the rain delay late on that Saturday evening (their match finished just before midnight): click to enlarge

http://instagr.am/p/ONY2lwAHMp/

https://twitter.com/TipsarevicJanko/status/234457683418288128

--wacb

Filed under: milos raonic, news 3 Comments
10Aug/12Off

Ambitious schedule tomorrow for Rogers Cup

New Schedule and Order Of Play

So, tournament organizers have planned to do the 3rd round (R16) tomorrow morning, and the QF round in the evening.  Milos will be playing either John Isner or Philipp Kohlschreiber, who will have just playing their 3rd Round match a few hours earlier.  Milos hasn't played either player.

On the doubles side, Raonic/Troicki handed a walk-over to Paes/Melzer.  I couldn't find any reasons for the withdrawal, but I figure Milos is planning to focus on singles play, and Troicki is escaping the rain...

Click on this screenshot of the new OoP to access the schedule of play at RogersCup.com.  For us fans, either watching in the stands or on CBC or Sportsnet on TV or streaming (see the bright green "Live Streaming" link at RogersCup.com), it promises to be quite a day.  For the players, having to play both matches in one day will probably be tough, but I think they rested well enough today : ).

The Weather

Now for the very bad news.  While this schedule sounds great and would put the tournament back on track, the weather looks no better for the rest of the tournament.  Here's what Environment Canada is predicting:

Tonight
Periods of rain ending overnight then cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm this evening and overnight. Amount 5 to 10 mm. Low 17.
 
Friday
Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers in the morning. Periods of rain beginning near noon. Risk of a thunderstorm in the morning and afternoon. Amount 10 to 20 mm. Wind becoming northeast 20 km/h late in the morning. High 21.
 
Friday night
A few showers ending after midnight then cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm in the evening and overnight. Low 18.
 
Saturday
Showers. High 21.
 
Sunday
Cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers. Low 16. High 25.
source: http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/pages/on-64_metric_e.html

This definitely puts the tournament in a tricky spot.

I look forward to all this rain getting overwith during the thunderstorms tonight, and waking up to a sunny GTA!

--wacb

Filed under: milos raonic, news 9 Comments
8Aug/12Off

1st Round – Milos v. Troicki, Aug 7th, Rogers Cup 2012 (+ pics and 2nd round preview)

The Match

Milos did not disappoint last night.  In front of a huge crowd of loud, proud, and cheerful fans, Milos put away Viktor Troicki in a routine fashion, final score 6-3, 6-4.

Stats

Aces

Milos hitting an ace is a majestic thing to watch from the stands.  It's very hard to track from the side of the court, I can't imagine having track it down to return it all, let alone in such a way as to avoid a smash or volley winner on the next shot!  Though the serve speed read 231, 232 kmph at times, it seemed faster that from where I was sitting...

Nobody cheered more on those 7 aces than these gals.  They were up in the North-East 300-level "Fan-Zone":

Aces sitting...

Aces sitting...

Aces up and cheering!

Aces up and cheering!

Gallery

Feel free to share/use these photos.  Click on the thumbnail to see a bigger version, and the high-res version is accessible from these as well.

 

Post-match interview

Milos shows off why it's so easy to be a fan of his during the post match interview.  He talks about the Olympics experience, the marathon match against Tsonga, and what's he's learned from it that he brings to this year's Rogers Cup.

What I like about Milos' interaction with the press is that it seems like he actually says meaningful things and that he seems sincere in his responses.

Up Next

Milos Raonic and Viktor Troicki will be taking on del Potro and Stepanek in doubles action on Court 1 in a few minutes.  Oddly, both teams are made up of players who met each other in the 2nd round of singles play!  In the latter case, Stepanek just defeated del Potro in straight sets, 7-6(2), 6-4.

Milos will be taking on the winner of the [2]Murray/[Q]Cipolla match in the 3rd round of singles play, to be decided in a few hours.  Hopefully this recently-awarded Olympic gold-medalist fares better than the bronze-medalist did this morning!  Either way, both players have every right to be tired after their performances last week.

Congrats and thanks again to all those who went deep in the London 2012 Olympics tournament and still came to see us fans in Canada!

--wacb

27Jun/12Off

Next Up: Sam Querrey

After his 80 second finale versus Giraldo today, Milos will face Sam Querrey tomorrow on Court 1, at about noon EDT.  They've never met in official play, but I think Milos knows what he has to do to win.  In an interview earlier today, Milos discussed his win and his upcoming match with Sam Querrey.  http://watch.tsn.ca/tennis/clip710424#clip710424    -- wacb

 

Filed under: milos raonic, news 19 Comments
25Jun/12Off

Raonic vs. Giraldo on Court 18 at 12:30pm

Raonic is up last on court 18 tomorrow (Tue, 26 Jun), which probably won't be before noon (Eastern Daylight Time) and will probably be later...  This is a televised court, and TSN is back with their BONUS COURT COVERAGE streaming online at TSN.ca !  It's very cool for them to bring back streaming, great for those of us who can't be at a TV since the time difference means all the tennis happens while we're at work...  Just for that TSN, here's a big fat advertisement for you, courtesy of us at MilosRaonic.com (click on it to go to TSN's tennis site):

TSN ~ Tennis

TSN ~ Tennis

Also, here's a little preview Milos on the grass at Wimbledon that he sent to the twitter-verse a couple of days ago:

Milos Raonic on WhoSay

--wacb

Filed under: milos raonic No Comments
22Jun/12Off

Wimbledon Draw

The draw for Wimbledon has been announced. Milos Raonic is seeded No.21 and will face Santiago Giraldo (COL) in the first round.

Santiago defeated Raonic in Davis Cup play in 2010, but a lot has changed in the last two years. Also, Santiago has never advanced past the first round in Wimbledon. It's not an easy first round opponent for Raonic (Santiago is ranked No.45), but you have to like his chances on the grass.

In the second round, Milos could face either Sam Querry or fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil. A possible third round opponent could be Marin Cilic, who is seeded No.16. Raonic is in Andy Murray's quarter of the draw (they could meet in the fourth round) and they're in the same half as Rafael Nadal. You can read more about the draw for Raonic here.

Could this be the year that Raonic makes a statement at Wimby? It's a tough looking draw, that's for sure. But Pete Sampras says that Milos is "a dark horse at Wimbledon." Live coverage starts Monday morning at 6:30AM ET on TSN.

Filed under: milos raonic, news 5 Comments
14Jun/12Off

Raonic v. Federer Redux… Again

Roger Federer defeated Florian Mayer earlier today in straight sets in Halle, Germany. This means that he will face Milos Raonic in the third round tomorrow.

This will be their third meeting and the first to be played on grass. Raonic has lost to Federer twice this year in tight three set matches in Madrid and Indian Wells. They will be the third match up on Centre Court on Friday, and Sportsnet ONE will have live coverage:

Filed under: milos raonic, news 17 Comments
13Jun/12Off

A Quick Update

Milos is through to the third round in Halle after edging out Petzschner in two tight sets and rolling over Zhang in the second round. His next opponent will most likely be Roger Federer.

The Davis Cup tie against South Africa will be held in Montreal at Uniprix Stadium from September 14-16.

Daniel Nestor, Vasek Pospisil, Milos Raonic & Aleksandra Wozniak will represent Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Raonic and Wozniak will play singles while Nestor and Pospisil will team up for doubles.

Filed under: milos raonic, news 7 Comments