Milos’ Rise

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Raonic is much better at tennis than I am at photography

Consistency on Clay and Elsewhere in 2014

Milos Raonic has made a move toward the top tier of the game with consistency.  With JMDP unfortunately in a seeming state of constant injury, I have been wondering who would be the best of the 25 and under crowd on tour.  Ernests Gulbis is 25 and is having a fine year, but he reached the French Open quarterfinal round in 2008.  His is more of a comeback story.  Kei Nishikori has played some great tennis in 2014, but he too seems to have an injury bug. Alexandr Dolgopolov had a great Indian Wells, but has not put together much during the clay court season.  Grigor Dimitrov has been hit or miss with the occasional oasis surrounded by perplexing losses.  Jerzy Janowicz is all over the map and has been injured as of late.  Milos is the payer in his age group who seems to be winning matches at every event.

Masters Results in 2014

11.05.2014 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome S 360 18.05.2015
13.04.2014 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo Q 180 20.04.2015
19.03.2014 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami Q 180 30.03.2015
06.03.2014 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells Q 180 16.03.2015
04.05.2014 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid R16 90 11.05.2015

Milos has reached the quarterfinal or better round at 4 of 5 Masters 1000 results in 2014. His lone outlier was a round of 16 showing.  Raonic did have a respectable round of 32 loss to Grigor Dimitrov that went 4 sets.  Had he won that match, his spot as the top younger player would be cemented.  It is not clear cut, but Ranic reaching  quarterfinal at Monte Carlo, a semifinal at Rome and a quarterfinal at Roland Garros shows a lot of promise.  Adding quarterfinal finishes in Miami and Indian Wells to the mix only adds to the narrative that Milos is winning pretty frequently.

A Breakthrough is the Next Step

Beating an injured Murray at Indian Wells, having a near miss with Nole in Rome, out dueling Gilles Simon in Paris and then playing solidly against Nole in his first Grand Slam quarterfinal all bode well for Milos.  He still lacks a great breakthrough victory that changes how the field sees him and how he sees himself.  The best time for this breakthrough would be the grass court season or perhaps Cincinnati as Milos has 780 points to defend between Masters Canada and the US Open.  Raonic has proven he belongs in the top 10, but he’s not close to the top 5 yet.  A win over a big gun on grass  and/or a quarterfinal or better finish at Wimbledon might tell the rest of the tour to work on their return game because they will be seeing a lot of Milos Raonic.

 

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