A match that had its highly-competitive moments in the first set ended in Milos Raonic dominance as the No. 6 seed advanced to round two of the 130th edition of Wimbledon with a 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-4 victory over No. 46-ranked Pablo Carreno Busta on Monday.

Raonic had a golden opportunity to possibly run away with the match when he had 15-40 on the No. 46-ranked Spaniard’s serve in the second game of the match. But an unlikely second serve ace and an errant forehand by Raonic and the 24-year-old Carreno Busta was able to eventually hold serve.

The only moment of real concern for Raonic was when he went down a mini-break by losing the opening point of the tiebreak on a well-executed backhand pass by Carreno Busta. The Spaniard then got a fortunate net cord on a drop shot attempt to lead 2-0. It was as good a start as he could have hoped for and getting to 3-0 would definitely have put him in a position to steal the set. But he missed his first serve leading 2-0 and Raonic hit a good return off the second and eventually won the point on a Carreno Busta misfired backhand.

It was always going to be tough for the Spaniard, winless on grass in his career, to pull off the upset and order was restored when Raonic got the separation he needed – leading 5-4 he took advantage of an over-hit forehand approach shot long and then a double fault to wrap up the set in 46 minutes.

Breaks in the second and fourth games of the second set and another in the third game of the final set were all Raonic, who saved the only two break points he faced (both in the second set), needed to wrap up the victory.


There were some interesting analogies to the match – it was played on the same No. 3 Court where Raonic lost in the third round to Nick Kyrgios a year ago and post-match he met the media in the same interview room No. 2.

Definitely rusty in the opening set, Raonic missed several volleys he is now accustomed to making, allowing Carreno Busta to gain more confidence than maybe he himself expected to have against a man currently rated the No. 4 betting choice for the title with London’s legal bookmakers.

Over the course of the match, Raonic was just 24 of 42 net points, which is below the ratio he achieved in his matches while reaching the final of the Queen’s Club event two weeks ago.

“I thought it was good,” he summed up about his performance on 4,063-seat No. 2 Court. “It’s the first match of the tournament. I didn’t expect to pick up where I left off in Queen’s by any means. But I think I did things well. I created opportunities. Even in that first set I had a few looks on his serve or I was in most of his service games. I didn’t spend too much time (1 hr and 53 min) on court, which was nice.”

As was to be expected, the John McEnroe question came quickly – No. 2 in the media conference – and Raonic replied by explaining his reasoning for hiring the 57-year-old legend: “it was to really emphasize coming forward and making it more difficult for my opponents.”


McEnroe (above playing on Saturday) has been anxious to get on the court to play tennis himself and sometimes, according to Raonic, using his unique stature in the game to “extend” his time on court when others might want to use it.


Here Raonic, his fitness coach Dalibor Sirola and physio Claudio Zimagla obviously got a big kick out of watching McEnroe hitting with Carlos Moya, the other coach on the team at Wimbledon.

Although he has been wearing a mouth guard since the beginning of the 2016 season, he was again quizzed about it on Monday. Here follows that sequence:

MILOS RAONIC: The mouth guard has been there since the beginning of this year.  Obviously struggled with my back last year for about six months and cut my season short. So I ventured to see what I can do to help me prevent dealing with that pain.  Maybe I won’t be able to solve my back issue completely, but at least I can keep it under wraps.

I got rid of orthotics and went to a mouth guard as a way to sort of align my spine.

Q. Is this something you chew down on when you’re serving?

MILOS RAONIC:  I think the whole point is so you don’t grind your teeth.  So I think it’s meant to give you like a certain amount of spacing which doesn’t force muscles to tense up and so forth.

Q. No orthotics?  That means the shoe as it comes and you put it on?


Q. Does it feel different?

MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it took getting used to. I’ve played with orthotics since I was 10 years old. It took getting used to. But now it’s nice, if somebody steals your shoes, you don’t have to worry about a pair of orthotics.

Q. Has that happened?

MILOS RAONIC:  No, but it’s the thing you worry about the most. Where are you going to find those?

I’m pretty protective of my mouth guard, though, but at least it stays in my mouth all day, other than when I eat. I have had to go through garbage cans (to find it) a few times.

Q. Do you ever watch (Steph) Curry play?

MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, that’s a little too much. Putting it by your armpit and all this kind of stuff – what basketball guys do. I keep mine in my mouth.

Q. How many have you got? Mouth guards?

MILOS RAONIC: Two or three, including one in my mouth.


Next for Raonic, who served 27 aces including the one above, will be a second-round meeting on Wednesday against Andreas Seppi. The No. 45-ranked Italian had an impressive 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain on Monday.

Raonic won their only previous meeting – 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in a Davis Cup match played in Vancouver in 2013.

The two are very familiar with each other because Raonic’s main coach, Riccardo Piatti, and Seppi’s coach Massimo Sartori, both Italian, work together.

“I’ve practiced with him a lot,” Raonic said about the 32-year-old Seppi. “I think that’s more of significant use to me (than the Davis Cup match). We shared my fitness trainer for a while at first.

“I’m pretty sure I know what he’s going to try to do out there on court – what he’s going to look to put me in, what kind of positions.

“He must have played really well. Obviously I didn’t get to watch any of the match. But to have that kind of score line against Guillermo who plays well on grass, he must have played really well. I’m going to have to sort of keep him off balance and play as much as I can on my terms.”

That’s the usual formula for Raonic – and maybe even more so with McEnroe in his corner pushing an even more aggressive, forward-moving brand of tennis.

‘Big W’ debut for Bouchard


Genie Bouchard starts her 2016 Wimbledon campaign on Tuesday with a match against Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.

Speaking with reporters on Saturday, Bouchard was in positive frame of mind saying, “I feel confident on court. I’ve had a lot of hours on the grass. Now it’s just about playing a lot of points and concentrating like during a match – that’s what I did today.”

About playing on grass, she added, “if you lose concentration for one or two points it can be a service break which can also be the set. I have to concentrate on every point.”


Bouchard (with game-face on above with brother William on left and coach Nick Saviano on right) and the 27-year-old Rybarikova have only played once – Bouchard winning 6-4, 6-1 in Beijing in 2013.

The Slovak is a bit of a mystery player this year. Currently ranked No. 94 after being as high as No. 31 in 2013, Rybarikova has been plagued by injuries and has retired from matches in four of her last six tournaments, including two weeks ago in Nottingham against Tamira Paszek after beating Britain’s Heather Watson in the first round. “Leg, arm, she has a lot of injuries,” a Slovak journalist said on Monday about Rybarikova. “She’s a very sensitive player.”

Last year, Rybarikova won her first-ever match on grass at Wimbledon in her eighth appearance. She beat Karin Knapp in a retirement result in her first match and then surprised world No. 8 Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 7-5 in the second round.

“She likes to play on grass,” the Slovak journalist said.

Rybarikova is a good-looking athlete at 5-foot-11 but lacks the feistiness and drive of her 5-foot-3 compatriot Dominka Cibulkova, who won the tournament in Eastbourne last week.

Bouchard, who lost in the first round a year ago to Chinese qualifier Ying-Ying Duan while playing with a grade two abdominal tear, will have to be wary of the unpredictable Rybarikova.

Talking about her first round, Bouchard did not mention her opponent’s name, saying only, “I have only positive thoughts and excitement. I want to enjoy myself and take advantage of the occasion because Wimbledon doesn’t come around every day.”


Bouchard (here enjoying a laugh in practice Saturday with brother William) will face Rybarikova in Court 12, which has a capacity of 1,065. The match will start third-on following two men’s singles so probably won’t begin until between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (EDT in Canada). 

Pospisil starts with Spaniard


When Vasek Pospisil takes on Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Tuesday, he will be trying to kick-start his 2016 year at the place where he had his greatest success a year ago – a quarter-final finish at Wimbledon.

Pospisil is a modest 5-16 so far in 2016 and ended a six-match losing streak by winning two qualifying matches at Queen’s Club in London two weeks ago.

He won a match (Damir Dzumhur) and lost a match (eventual champion Steve Johnson) in Nottingham last week.

A year ago his quarter-final at the All England Club earned him 360 ATP ranking points. If he doesn’t win more than a match or two this time his ranking could drop to the mid-80s.

He will certainly start as the favourite vs. Ramos-Vinolas, whom he is playing for the first time.

In three previous trips to Wimbledon, Ramos-Vinolas has won only a single match – 6-2, 6-2, 3-2 RET over Denis Istomin last year when the Uzbek had to stop.


Pospisil (above with brother Tom on right) is 5-4 at Wimbledon, with four of those wins coming a year ago. If Pospisil can get past Ramos-Vinolas he could face No. 25 seed Viktor Troicki, the man he beat from two-sets down in the round-of-16 a year ago, in the second round.

Pospisil – Ramos-Vinolas is the opening match (6:30 a.m. EDT in Canada) on Court 6 with minimal first-come, first-served seating on the court which is in the front row outside the main entrance to the club. 

Wimbledon postcard


This house is located on a street just off the main Wimbledon high street where the trendy shops and restaurants are located. There’s certainly no problem with cutting the front lawn at this residence.