Milos Raonic dominated Spain’s Nicolas Almagro 6-3 6-3 on Thursday to book his place in the quarter finals of the Barcelona Open. Al Dannity breaks down a huge win for the Canadian.
Alive and kicking
Milos Raonic may have just set a new world record for the shortest slump in Tennis history. After a shocking defeat to Albert Montanes in Monte Carlo last week, the Thornhill, Ont. player has won three matches this week to send out a warning to the rest of the ATP tour. The 21 year-old beat #6 seed Nicolas Almagro 6-3 6-3 this morning to advance to Friday’s quarter finals.
It’s been a whirlwind week for Raonic. He restored confidence to his game with an opening round win over Colombia’s Alejandro Falla on Monday. The man dubbed ‘The Canadian Sampras’ followed that up with a 6-4 6-1 trouncing of Igor Andreev on Wednesday. Both were wins Raonic was, based on rankings, supposed to get but his so-so record on clay to date had done little to inspire confidence. That beat down of Andreev should have been a wake-up call to the doubters. If it wasn’t, then his second win of the season over Almagro surely will serve as one. Raonic dropped just 11 points on serve and faced just 2 break points, saving both. By contrast he converted all 3 of his opportunities to break the Spaniard.
The win has secured a fourth quarter final for Raonic on the ATP Tour this season. The Canadian has progressed to the final on each of those three occasions, winning two titles in the process. Almagro, ranked #13 in the world, is the highest ranked player Raonic has beaten since beating then #9 Janko Tipsarevic in the final of Chennai. This run of success has #35 Raonic in line for a big rankings push as the season progresses.
Big test awaits
At the time of writing Raonic was still waiting to find out his quarter final opponent. The most likely foe will be Andy Murray, who faces Santiago Giraldo today in the last 16. Murray was due to face Raonic in Miami but the Canadian was forced to give up a walkover due to injury. Now the fit again Raonic will have his eyes set on a big upset of the #4 ranked Murray, should he win today. While clay may not be the Canadian’s preferred surface, he is familiar with Barcelona as he used it for a training base late last year. That should see him gain plenty of support from the home crowd and put him in with a shout of shocking the Scotsman.
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