He’s Good, Eh?

Written By: achangeofends - Feb• 14•11

Today, Milos Raonic made his way into the future of tennis. At just 20 years old, the Canadian won his very first ATP title in San Jose at the SAP Open. The SAP Open is one of the oldest events on tour and boasts winners like Andy Roddick, Andy Murray, Lleyton Hewitt, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl and more. In 2006, Andy Murray also won his first ATP title in San Jose, at just 18. Will Raonic skyrocket into the Top 10 like Murray? It’s definitely possible. Milos has talent. He’s 6’5″ and has a serve that rivals Andy Roddick’s. Better yet, he follows up his massive serve with powerful groundstrokes and he’s not afraid to come to net.

Milos beat Fernando Verdasco, defending champion at the SAP Open, 7-6 7-6. What struck me about the match was how composed Raonic was considering the circumstances. He was in his very first ATP tour final and yet he made the match look routine. He never faltered, even when he was down 6-2 in the first set tiebreak. One of the most interesting facts about the match was that neither man lost his serve, at all. I think that only added to Fernando’s dismay. When you only lose serve once all week, en route to the final and hold serve for the entire final match, you expect to win.

The match ended on a controversial note, when a fan called Raonic’s serve out on match point. Milos’ serve was in and Verdasco was unable to return it, but he was thrown off by the call from the crowd. He requested that they play a let, but the chair umpire upheld the original call. In typical pre-schooler fashion, Fernando moped and pouted, taking away from Milos’ victory. I understand Fernando felt like the title was taken away from him, but to be honest, this match was all about Milos and it’s never fair to take away from the winner’s glory. The kid should’ve been elated by winning his first ATP tour title, not worrying about a mopey Verdasco.

Anyway, as I watched the match, I just became more and more enamored with the young Canadian. He’s adorable. Soft spoken and a little hunched, Milos seems like a normal 20 year old, except he’s an extraordinary tennis player. At the beginning of 2011, Raonic was ranked 153 in the world. Today, just six weeks later, he’s No. 59.

Fernando won’t have to wait long to get his revenge. These two players will meet again on Wednesday night for a first round match in Memphis. I think Verdasco may have the edge this time, but the way Raonic has been playing, he has a great chance at another upset. Either way, I promise you we’ll be seeing more of Milos Raonic.

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