– Earlier on last week no one thought that Milos Raonic would be on the Top-10 on the following week : the Canadian was experimenting a rough patch, winning just 2 of his last 7 matches and on a coach changing period ( he dumped Galo Blanco, and hired former Top-5 Ivan Ljubicic). Plus, he was giving us the sensation of having stagnated on his developing, as his ground game developments where nowhere to be seen on 2013.
So, he arrived into Montreal as #13, but defending 180 pts. from his QF performance in Toronto 12′. A mere defense of his points would be regarded as a huge sucess, specially considering his recent form. He barely survived his opening match vs Jeremy Chardy, winning it 63 46 75, but looked convincing on R2 vs Mikhail Youzhny, winning in straights. It was the first time that Raonic had won two matches in a row since Roland Garros! . Expectations were low for his R3 match vs #7 Juan Martin Del Potro , but a combination of Juan Martin back injury, incredible home support, some polemic umpiring and unsportmanlike behaviour of Milos ( he touched the net and didn’t admit it) saw Milos advance in relatively comfortable fashion, 75 64. That day also saw Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych losing, opening in consequence that half of the draw, whose QF matches were Raonic vs Ernests Gulbis and Vasek Pospisil vs Nikolay Davydenko. Milos kept his cool, and survived two really tough matches vs both Gulbis ( 64 in the 3rd) and Pospisil ( 76 in the 3rd) to make his 1st M-1000 F, and be the first Canadian to crack into Top-10 [ replacing Richard Gasquet ] . Expectedly he lost to Rafael Nadal by 62 62 on the final, where even his serve didn’t work, and of course his groundstrokes weren’t clicking, like they weren’t on the vast majority of the tournament.
Despite this showing, many people don’t believe in an improvement from Raonic, believing he had an incredible amount of luck to reach the final ( something on which I agree, seeds falling out on his section, winning tight matches vs opponents who choked), and that his game isn’t getting better ( his groundstrokes are terribly inconsistent, and his return game doesn’t seem to have improved in relation to 2012). In my opinion, he won’t end the season in the Top-10 ( I believe that Gasquet, Haas or even Nishikori should end above him), but if his game improves he should be a Top-10 fixture.
Race Standings: He’s currently #12 on the RACE, with 620 pts. less than Tsonga and 200 pts. less than #10 Gasquet.