The draw for Wimbledon took place on Friday morning and Canada’s Milos Raonic won’t have it easy in the opening round. Al Dannity looks ahead to Raonic’s first round match-up with Santiago Giraldo and assesses the Canadian’s prospects for the Championships.
Two years is a long time in Tennis
It’s been a while since Milos Raonic crossed paths with Santiago Giraldo. Their sole meeting came in the Davis Cup two years ago, with Giraldo coming out on top over four sets. Now, in 2012, they will meet again in SW19 and Raonic will be hungry for revenge. The big server out of Thornhill, Ont. had a fantastic spring but failed to go deep at the French Open. He took out his frustrations on a couple of over-matched opponents in Halle before going out in the quarter finals to Roger Federer.
Now Raonic begins the summer cycle with a huge test at the start of Wimbledon. Giraldo is the World number 45, making him one of the toughest possible draws for Raonic. The Colombian’s 5-13 record at majors however does little to inspire confidence. In the two years since their last meeting Raonic has claimed three titles on tour and shocked Andy Murray in Barcelona. Giraldo’s development has been far slower, with just one final appearance and no titles to his name.
No easy way out
If Raonic is to make a mark at Wimbledon he’s going to probably have to go through Andy Murray again. The Scot has been put in Raonic’s side of the draw along with French Open champion Rafael Nadal, a possible semi-final opponent for the Canadian. Much like Roland Garros, Raonic won’t be thinking too hard about such lofty heights. Having been forced out in the second round last year with injury, the Canadian’s biggest aim early on will be in making the third round. That would ensure a rankings boost and move the man with the 21 seed ever closer to a Top 10 ranking.
Murray would be Raonic’s opponent should both make the fourth round. There could be an all-Canadian match-up in the second round should Vasek Pospisil, of Vernon, B.C., overcome Sam Querrey in the first round. Querrey, the World number 63, will be favoured to spoil the party and earn a shot at Raonic. Should the Canadian Sampras make the third round he would likely face Marin Cilic, the number 16 seed, before finally getting a crack at Murray. It’s a tough road, arguably the hardest route facing any of the seeds, but one that will build character.
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