The only male Canadian tennis player to crack the top 10 in singles rankings, Milos Raonic, at the ripe old age of 25, has earned his spot as a Canadian sports hero, but it looks like Canadians aren’t the only ones favouring the 6’5″ powerhouse. Currently ranked 12th in the world, Raonic was name-dropped by Jon Wertheim, senior writer at Sports Illustrated, as the player to take the Wimbledon title this year. This would mark another first for a Canadian. (Yes!)
As Canadian tennis fans, we’re well-acquainted with Raonic’s long-list of tennis accomplishments, so let’s get to the good stuff — like, what size are his feet and when did he first pick up a racquet? Simply put: who is Milos Raonic? Here are a list of 25 things you may or may not know about one of our favourite Canadian sports exports:
1. He was born on December 27, 1990 in Podgorica, Montenegro.
2. He moved to Canada at the age of three.
3. He started playing tennis at six years old.
4. By 12, when asked why he played so much, he simply said, “I love the game!”
5. His favourite tennis player is Pete Sampras. In countless interviews, Raonic has admitted to watching and recording all of Sampras’ matches.
6. In 2011 he got to meet his idol, and actually beat him on-court in a friendly exhibition match held in Toronto.
7. He wears a size 14D shoe.
8. He is 6’5″.
9. His practice times growing up were with his dad using a ball machine at 6:30 a.m. or 9:00 p.m. because court fees were a lot cheaper at this time. (Smart!)
10. Based on practice times, he admits that there was little time left to head to parties or go out on weekends like his classmates (he missed prom), but in retrospect he didn’t really mind and the road to achieving his dream was very well worth it.
11. He finished high school in two years.
12. His celebrity girl crush is Taylor Swift.
13. He is currently dating model, Danielle Knudson.
14. His hobbies include watching movies and talking to family on Skype.
15. Much like his time in high school, today you’re still not going to find him at partying at the club.
16. But, you will find him drinking Coke to stay awake!
17. His favourite surface is hard court.
18. His favourite shot is a serve and overhead slam.
19. Speaking of beasts, when on the road travelling he once played with lions in Johannesburg.
20. And on travel, he has said the opportunities that have come with the sport have been one of its greatest gifts — his favourite memories include globe trotting to see all of his fans.
21. Fan to fan, he’s had a dinner-for-two with fellow Canadian sports hero, Wayne Gretzky.
22. Like the hockey great, he isn’t really a fan of losing, which keeps him eager and hungry to continue to play better.
23. His on court appearance has always been important to him — when he first started playing tennis his sister would dress him.
24. He believes, “if you’re confident in tennis, you’re confident everywhere else.”
25. His clothing brand of choice? He wears New Balance on-court, care of a lifetime deal with the company he inked a few years back. Here a fun video about the pair:
Have more fun facts about Milos? We would love to hear them! Tweet us at @tenniscanada using the #LiveTheMoment!