The hottest new name in Tennis is the biggest prospect to emerge from Canada in decades. Al Dannity expects Milos Raonic to make waves as the season progresses.
Grabbing the public’s attention Canada’s Milos Raonic was an unknown quantity entering the 2011 season. Raonic, who was born in what is now Montenegro before emigrating to Canada at the age of 3, had only made one appearance in a grand slam before this year. His swift exit from the 2010 US Open went virtually unnoticed but the young man has build up a ton of momentum since January. First there was the Australian Open where, in only his first appearance in Melbourne, he made it all the way to fourth round. David Ferrer ended his run but it was still the best grand slam performance by a Canadian male player in over a decade.
Bigger and brighter things awaited Raonic. Earlier this month he claimed the SAP Open title in San Jose, the first ATP Tour title to be won by a Canadian in 15 years. Raonic looked on course for a second career title just one week later. The 20 year old faced Andy Roddick in the final at the ATP event in Memphis. It took one of the shots of the season from Roddick to see off Raonic. Even in defeat the Canadian won legions of followers. Now the only question is, how high can he climb?
Future prospects Currently ranked #37 in the world, the best ever ranking for a Canadian, the early part of the season should provide Raonic with plenty of opportunities to climb higher. The hard courts of Indian Wells and Miami should suit his game. While he will face some stiff opposition in both of these tournaments, the young man clearly has the game to compete with the best.
There could be a mid-season slump for the youngster. The tour moves to the clay courts of Europe leading into the French Open and then onto grass in the build-up to Wimbledon. Raonic has yet to establish himself on either of these surfaces but the back-end of the season should suit him. The tour returns to hard courts ahead of the US Open and the Canadian will be keen to improve on last year’s brief sojourn in Flushing Meadows.
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