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?):
UPDATE on how to watch tonight's match (thanks Tomaso):
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
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 : ).
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Showers. High 21.
- 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!
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.
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":
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.
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.
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 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!
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
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.
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:
—Tennis Canada (@Tennis_Canada) June 14, 2012
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.
Milos Raonic has drawn Philipp Petzschner (GER) in the first round of the ATP 250 tournament in Halle. They are scheduled to play last on Center Court.
Petzschner defeated Raonic in Halle last year, but Milos has won their last two meetings. The German has been sliding in the rankings in the last few months while Milos was able to reach a career high of No.21 just a few weeks ago. Clearly all of the momentum will be with Raonic heading into match, but Petzschner should not be underestimated on grass. He showed some tremendous skill at the net when he defeated Raonic last year. No doubt he will be bringing his best game in front of the home German crowd.
Looking at the draw, Raonic could face Roger Federer in the third round. Who wouldn't want to see that match before Wimbledon?!
In the meantime, there is still the matter of deciding the French Open winner. Just when it looked like Nadal was going to roll over Djokovic today, Novak ran off eight straight games to force a fourth set. Nadal was finally able to hold serve before the match was suspended due to rain, but he's still down a break in the fourth. I won't beat around the bush: I'm a Nadal fan. I want him to beat Novak in the finals of the French and restore order to the Universe. This is the final many fans wanted last year when Djokovic went into Roland Garros undefeated. Federer put an end to the Serbian's unbelievable run, only to lose to Nadal in the final.
Perhaps it will play to Nadal's advantage that the match was suspended. We shall see tomorrow morning:
French Open Final Will continue tomorrow at 7am ETon TSN.
— Greg McIsaac (@TSN_PR) June 10, 2012
Raonic to focus on Singles at 2012 Olympics in London; Nestor to partner with Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil
Canada's Daniel Nestor, co-ranked #1 in the world with partner Max Mirnyi, has reportedly chosen Vasek Pospisil as his doubles partner for the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London. Apparently, it was decided that "Raonic might not be able to give as strong a commitment to doubles" given his potential in the singles competition.
Here is the a link to the article at The Record : http://www.therecord.com/sports/article/732772--nestor-to-play-doubles-with-pospisil-at-olympics
Thanks to Tomaso for letting us know when he heard the news!