MILOS RAONIC: TOP 8 MATCHES
November 9, 2014
In celebration of Milos Raonic becoming the first Canadian to ever qualify in singles for the ATP World Tour Finals in London as one of the eight best players in the world, we will be posting a new Top 8 list inspired by Raonic’s incredible season every day this week.
Today we are taking a look at his top eight matches of the year. Sitting just one win shy of 50 for the season, Raonic has competed in many memorable duels in 2015!
8 – Raonic d. Santiago Giraldo 6-1, 7-6(2), 7-5 in Davis Cup World Group Play-offs
It was a scenario in which Raonic had performed admirably in the past – with his country just one win away from victory in Davis Cup action, Canada’s No. 1 player took the court in the fourth rubber. And for the fifth time in his career, he clinched a tie for Canada, defeating Santiago Giraldo in the nation’s World Group play-off versus Colombia in Halifax. The win meant Canada would stay in the World Group for 2015, making it four consecutive seasons in which the country has been one of the best 16 teams in the world.
7 – Raonic d. Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in Indian Wells fourth round
In just his second tournament of the season, following a month-long absence from tennis due an ankle injury, Raonic worked his way back into form in Indian Wells. In the fourth round, Raonic impressively posted his third career triumph opposite two-time Slam champion Andy Murray, coming back from a set down to advance into the quarter-finals.
6 – Raonic d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(5), 6-4 in Rome third round
Falling to the top Frenchman in their past two meetings – including the longest-ever best-of-three sets Olympic tennis match in games – Raonic finally earned a triumph over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Rome. It wasn’t the most dominant of wins, as Tsonga actually hit slightly better serving numbers and Raonic was forced to save five break points, but Raonic got the job done. Momentum was then on the Canadian’s side, as he stayed in fine form throughout his time in Rome, ultimately making the semifinals.
5 – Raonic d. Vasek Pospisil 6-1, 6-4 in Washington final
Competing against his Davis Cup teammate Vasek Pospisil in the first-ever all-Canadian ATP World Tour final, Raonic was the better player in the Washington championship match. Losing just two points on his first serve throughout the 68-minute duel, Raonic emphatically won his sixth career title. He didn’t drop a set all tournament.
4 – Raonic d. Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-3 in Wimbledon fourth round
Raonic’s only win over Kei Nishikori – arguably his biggest rival – so far was a big one. Dropping the first set in their Wimbledon round-of-16 duel, Raonic was able to roar right back and turn the match around. The triumph moved him into his second straight Slam quarter-final and set the stage for even more.
3 – Raonic d. Gilles Simon 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 in Roland Garros third round
Down two-sets-to-one against a Frenchman in front of a French crowd, Raonic soundly illustrated his ability to deal with adversity and pressure in battling for five sets with Gilles Simon. Not playing his best tennis, hitting 74 unforced errors, Raonic somehow figured out how to stay in the match. He was broken while serving for the contest, but with darkness threatening a postponement till the next day, Raonic regrouped to win the next two games and clinch the victory.
2 – Raonic d. Nick Kyrgios 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(4) in Wimbledon quarter-finals
One might have expected Raonic to be facing then-world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon quarter-finals. Instead, it was young Aussie Nick Kyrgios, the exciting up-and-comer who vanquished Nadal in the fourth round, and who had nothing to lose against Raonic. Facing the potential of making his first Slam semifinal, Raonic got through any jitters in the first set to control the duel. He blasted 39 aces, hitting through his opponent to become the first Canadian man to make the Wimbledon semifinals since 1908.
1 – Raonic d. Roger Federer 7-6(5), 7-5 in Paris quarter-finals
Not just one of the biggest matches of his year, Raonic’s win over Roger Federer at the Paris Masters is one of the best of his career. Entering the contest, Raonic knew his goal of reaching the ATP World Tour Finals would be officially dashed if he lost to Federer. In fact, his season would be over. And Raonic dealt with the pressure beautifully, capturing his first win in 15 attempts over a member of the ‘Big Three’ – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Federer – and showing that he does truly belong in the elite eight of the year-end championships.