Big-serving Milos Raonic made history on the grass courts of the All England Club on Friday in upsetting No. 3 seed Roger Federer in the Wimbledon men’s semifinals. Raonic became the first Canadian man to ever reach the finals of a Grand Slam event. His reward: No. 2 seed Andy Murray on Sunday in breakfast at Wimbledon.
Milos Raonic vs. Andy Murray Wimbledon tennis odds
Murray opened as a -360 favourite on Sports Interaction tennis odds with Raonic at +251. The odds have narrowed since, with Murray currently sitting at -268.
Milos Raonic out to make Wimbledon history
There’s no question that the fans in London were rooting for Federer. The Swiss star, perhaps the greatest men’s player in history, was going for a record eighth Wimbledon title. And when No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who was on Federer’s side of the draw and was the two-time defending champion, was upset earlier in the tournament, it appeared this might be Federer’s last best chance for an 18th Grand Slam title.
Federer had rallied from a two-set deficit to beat No. 9 Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. And that might have played a role Friday as Federer appeared to run out of gas. He led sixth-seeded Raonic 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4, but Raonic relied on his serve to win the final two sets 7-5, 6-3.
“That’s an incredible comeback for me,” Raonic said after the match. “I was struggling through the third and fourth sets, and with just a little opening I managed to turn around.”
Raonic had a top serve speed of 144 mpg against Federer and an average first serve speed of 129 mph compared to Federer’s 116 mph on the first. The 25-year-old Raonic had 23 aces among his 75 winners in handing Federer, always a media darling in England, his first loss in 11 semifinal matches at Wimbledon. Federer was able to break Raonic just once in nine chances; Federer had three break points in the crucial fourth set. Raonic was 3-for-8 in break chances against Federer.
Perhaps the career-altering move for Raonic, a Thornhill, Ont., native, was when the legendary John McEnroe joined Raonic’s coaching team last month. McEnroe won Wimbledon three times and was hired by the Raonic camp as a grass court consultant.
“The impact of being Canada’s first-ever finalist will be bigger if I can win the title. I have to focus on that, put all my energy into that,” Raonic added. “John [McEnroe] told me to go out there and leave it all out there, and that’s what made the biggest difference.”
Canadian-born Greg Rusedski did reach the 1997 U.S. Open final, but he was competing under the British flag by then. Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard reached the Wimbledon women’s final in 2014. She lost in a lopsided match to Petra Kvitova.
Andy Murray will have the crowd support
If Raonic thought the fans were behind Federer, it will be even louder for Murray, the Scotsman. No player from Great Britain had won Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 until Murray did in 2013 with a straight-sets win over Djokovic. Murray also reached the 2012 final, losing to Federer.
Murray advanced with an easy 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 10 Tomas Berdych on Friday. It’s the 11th Grand Slam final overall for the 29-year old Murray, overtaking Perry for the record by a British man. Murray is coached by Ivan Lendl, who used to be a playing rival of McEnroe’s to add even more intrigue.
Murray leads Raonic 6-3 in all-time meetings. They have played three times this year, with Murray winning all of them. They recently met at the Queen’s Club Wimbledon warm-up tournament in London and Murray prevailed 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3. Raonic led by a set and 3-0 in the second before Murray became the first player of that entire tournament to break Raonic’s serve, doing so twice in a row. That is the only time Murray and Raonic have ever met on grass. Raonic’s last win in the series was on the hard courts of Indian Wells, Calif., in 2014.
Milos Raonic vs. Andy Murray Prediction
Murray barely had to work in his semifinal, while Raonic had a draining five-setter. That can make a big difference. Plus Murray has been on this stage before. I like Murray in four sets, which is priced at +240 on tennis odds.