Indian Wells 2016: Goffin vs. Raonic Semifinal Prediction

Milos Raonic’s semifinal appearance is not unexpected given Milos’ 2015 showing at Indian Wells, his strong performances at Brisbane and Melbourne this year, and his dunk during NBA All-Star weekend (demonstrating his return to health being injured in the Aussie semifinal round).  David Goffin is a cagey player with a unique style, but I doubted he would get past the round of 8.  Marin Cilic is in some ways a great sparring partner to prepare for playing Raonic.  Still, who is the favorite?

Milos is Favored for the Following Reasons

  • Milos should hold serve most of the time – the burden will be on Goffin to return and serve well
  • Milos’ improved net play and more frequent approaches make him different from Cilic’s more predictable Big Man strategy of powerful serving and dictating play with big groundstrokes
  • The match is on Milos’ racquet – if he plays well he should win

Who Will Win?

Milos Roanic is on a collision course with the top 5 based on his early 2016 results.  A win today confirms a very direct path to the top tiers of tennis.  A loss would be a setback, but it would not crush his strong start to the year.  David Goffin pushed Nole hard in Cincinnati and just beat Marin Cilic.  His return of serve, ability to counter punch, and his ability to take the ball early and use his opponent’s pace to power his shots all make him dangerous.  As much as I think Milos’ is the favorite, I think Goffin will return well enough and counterpunch in a maddening enough manner to eek out a win.

My Prediction: David Goffin d. Milos Raonic 7-6, 7-5

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