Raonic was born in Yugoslavia. At three years of age, he moved to Canada with his family and now, 18 years later, he has attained a lofty status as the highest ranked ATP Canadian male singles player since computer rankings were initiated in the early 70′s.
From what I’ve seen, it’s not a fluke. This guy can flat out play. Though noted most for a blistering serve, rest assured he is far more than one-dimensional.
Raonic has a comprehensive all-court game. His forehand is monstrous, two-handed backhand better than average and his volleying skills decidedly more than just adequate. What’s more, he isn’t at all afraid to come to net, somewhat of a lost art in modern tennis.
Frankly, I don’t think there is anything he is afraid to try on a tennis court. That’s the primary reason we are getting to watch the development of undoubtedly a top 10 player, maybe top five.
Another consistent trait is Raonic’s seemingly unflappable demeanor. I’ve yet to see him fly off the handle or just look demoralized when things are not going his way. Rather, he looks upbeat (not faking it) and calm.
He appears to be a gentle giant who happens to be an outstanding tennis player.
His youthful looks coupled with a non-flamboyant court presence creates a likable persona. Not only is his tennis dynamic to watch but you feel drawn to his personality. He seems like a nice guy.
But for all the affable traits, Raonic is a fearlessly aggressive force.
He goes for his shots…big time. He proved that today in the semis against 2012 Olympic gold medalist and US Open champion, Andy Murray. Murray was also defending champion of this Rakuten Tennis Open in Tokyo, Japan.
This was not in the least a case of Murray playing badly. Despite reverting to some of the old negative “Murray funk,” he was on his game. There are no excuses. He was simply beaten by the better player on this day.
Raonic was never tentative. He adopted a splendidly active approach from the outset, relentlessly applied the game plan and was undeterred by a number of remarkable shots by Murray, shots that would have created doubt in a lesser players mind.
This guy is strong both physically, and most importantly, mentally.
Whats scary is Raonic is getting better with each match.
He’s the “real deal.”
Barring injury, I’m confident he will be top 20 in short order, maybe reaching top 10 in 2013.
It’s not unrealistic to think Raonic will win a slam or slams within a year or two.
Milos Raonic is truly a force with which the top guys will have to reckon.
He proved it today.
Just ask Andy Murray.