Milos Raonic Claims Fourth Seed On ATP World Rankings

Milos Raonic has reached a Canadian milestone with the release of the latest ATP World Rankings list.  The 24 year old Canadian is currently seeded fourth on the world rankings, trailing only three members of the Big Four – Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Andy Murray.

Raonic was seeded sixth on the world rankings ahead of the Madrid Masters in Spain last week.  The Madrid Open is played on clay courts, and is one of the biggest tournaments ahead of the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the tennis season and the only major played on clay courts.

Expectations were mixed for Raonic ahead of the tournament as the Canadian was admittedly dealing with a pinched nerve in his right foot.  However, he advanced through the opening rounds to the quarterfinals where he was beaten by Murray, who ended up winning the tournament after upsetting Rafael Nadal in the finals.

Despite the quarterfinal finish, the performance was strong enough for Raonic to jump two spots on the ATP world rankings.  It marks the first time that a Canadian tennis player has ranked so high.  Eugenie Bouchard cracked the top five during the 2014 WTA Tour, but fifth was her highest spot to date.

Raonic will step aside from the game for the next few weeks as he undergoes surgery to repair the damaged nerve in his foot.  But doctors say Raonic should only be absent for two weeks, and the 24 year old is betting on making a powerful comeback at the French Open. 

As one of the top 10 seeds, he automatically qualifies for the second round of the major.  That first round bye gives Raonic a few extra days to prepare for the big event before the second round swings into action.

If Raonic does return to the surgery stronger than ever, he could be one of the players in the running to claim the title at Roland Garros.  The defending champion Nadal has struggled to find his form this season, and is no longer the top bet to win what may be his 10th French Open title.

No Canadian player has ever won a major title.  Bouchard was closest when she competed in the finals at Wimbledon last summer before losing to champion Petra Kvitova. 

Can Raonic earn his shot at a major later this month?  We’ll find out in a few short weeks.