A Look Back On Milos Raonic Ahead Of The ATP Finals In London

Canada will have a tennis player in the ATP World Tour Finals in the UK this season.  Milos Raonic, the 23 year old from Thornhill who played in all four Grand Slam tournaments this season, will serve up as one of the eight most successful tennis players of the year at the O2 Arena in London beginning November 9.

Raonic, along with Canada’s other superstar Eugenie Bouchard, had a career season this year.  He cracked the top 10 on the ATP world rankings in April when he reached the semifinals at the Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco.  Raonic lost the semifinal match to Stanislas Wawrinka, who went on to win the event, but still reached a career high of 9th in the standings.

Three months later at Wimbledon, Raonic became the first Canadian male singles tennis player to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam event.  In his debut Grand Slam semifinal, the Canadian faced off against Roger Federer for the right to reach the finals. 

Unfortunately, Federer had Raonic’s number and defeated the Canadian 6-4 in three straight sets – before losing to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon championship.  Despite the loss, Raonic had a successful run at Wimbledon, and was rewarded with 6th place on the ATP rankings.

Raonic then faced fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the first all Canadian finals match at an ATP tour event.  The two Canadians faced off at the Citi Open, part of the US Open Series in Washington, where Raonic won his first match of the season in a dominant 6-1, 6-4 showing against Pospisil. 

He later played Ken Nishikori in the US Open, tying the record for the longest US Open match in history at 4 hours and 19 minutes.  Unfortunately Raonic was eliminated by Nishikori, and dropped to 8th in the world standings.

The 23 year old’s latest outing was in Paris at the BNP Paribas Masters, and advanced to an ATP finals match for the second time of the season.  But Raonic was up against Novak Djokovic, who managed to defeat the Canadian twice already this season. 

Djokovic made the series a hat trick in his favour by stopping Raonic’s most powerful weapon – his serve.  The number one seed previously complimented Raonic as having one of the best serves in tennis, and was prepared for the Canadian’s go to strategy.  Djokovic shut Raonic down in straight sets with a final score of 6-2, 6-3.

Even though he lost his final match ahead of the finals in London, Raonic cemented his place in the great eight.  Rafael Nadal, the number three seed, pulled out of the tournament to treat an illness, allowing Raonic to play as the 7th seed rather than the 8th

His first opponent in London will be Marin Cilic as he competes in a group with Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, and number two seed Roger Federer.  Canadians will be cheering and betting on their hometown hero to make the country proud!