Raonic Comes Of Age? Upsets Murray In Tokyo; Djokovic Into Beijing Final Along With WTA Scream Queens
by Sean Randall | October 6th, 2012, 10:46 am
  • 43 Comments

Many of us, myself included, have been touting Milos Raonic for quite a while. And the big Canadian may have finally delivered a big, signature win. Earlier this morning Raonic saved two matchpoints to turn away Andy Murray 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(4) to reach the Tokyo final.

Raonic has beaten big names before, including Murray, and he’s won titles. But this may have been his best single match win, beating an in-form, defending champion and Grand Slam winner in Murray.

After the two split sets Murray broke Milos en route to a seemingly insurmountable 4-1 lead in the fourth. Raonic shook off his first dropped serve of the tournament and roared back, later overcoming a bunch of untimely double faults to close out Murray in a thriller.

“From the first match, I’ve been more aggressive, have come in as much as I can when I’ve created the opportunities and play under my terms more so than just waiting around,” said Raonic. “A big thing I changed coming into this week, as that I’m returning a lot closer. That took time. A big part of it is mental, preparing for that and having that instinct and drive to go after it when have the opportunities to get ahead in the points.”

Murray, who had won Tokyo last year, suffered just his second loss since Wimbledon.

“From my side, I would have liked to have started the match better. That would have helped me,” Murray said. “But he played well behind his serve, especially in the first couple of sets. That made it tough for me.”

Murray will now pack his bags and head to Shanghai. With his No. 1 hopes fleeting he’ll have to put up a very big result in China to stay in the race.

After consecutive third set tiebreak wins over Top 10ers Tipsarevic and now Murray, the 21-year-old Raonic moves on to face fellow young gun Kei Nishikori. The local favorite dispatched Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-2.

“It’s an incredible feeling because I’m in a final in my home country,” Nishikori said. “I didn’t think I would be in the final, so I’m very happy. I haven’t won a tournament in four years so hopefully I can win tomorrow.”

If Roanic plays like he has been he should be able to overpower Nishikori.

In Beijing, top seed Novak Djokovic took care of business ousting Florian Mayer 6-1, 6-4. He’ll meet JW Tsonga in a good final Sunday.

“He’s been playing really well,” said Djokovic of Tsonga. “There’s no secrets between each other, between us. I mean, we played many times, played a lot of important matches on the big stage. He’s a very powerful player, big serve, big forehand, and if that works, he can win against anybody on any surface, to be honest. So there is no clear favorite, I think, in tomorrow’s match. We have both been winning quite comfortably. It’s going to be a good final hopefully for the tournament.”

Tsonga got through when Feliciano Lopez retired with a left wrist injury down 6-1, 4-1.

The women’s final is set, and it’s a noisy as the top two players in the world, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, clash with the winner gaining the inside track to the year-end WTA No. 1 ranking.

“I came into this tournament not playing extremely well in Tokyo, and I had a couple of days of practice here,” Sharapova said. “I really wanted to do well and get to the final stage of this tournament, because I hadn’t been to the finals here. I’d played a few times, and skipped last year because I was injured.”

Azarenka has won six of 10 meetings with the Russian and three of four this year including the Australian Open final and the US Open semifinals.

“I feel like it’s a great opportunity for me,” Azarenka said. “To play against her and also for the fans to watch.”

The will be on Tennis Channel tonight. Raonic’s match at 1am ET. Djokovic’s Beijing final is at 4am ET but will air on tape Sunday morning.

SUNDAY BEIJING SCHEDULE

NATIONAL TENNIS STADIUM start 1:00 pm
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [Alt] C Berlocq (ARG) / D Istomin (UZB) – ATP

Not Before 4:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [3] J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP

Not Before 7:30 PM
[1] V Azarenka (BLR) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA

SUNDAY TOKYO SCHEDULE

CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
[1] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE) vs [4] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)

Not Before 2:00 PM
[6] M Raonic (CAN) vs [8] K Nishikori (JPN)


Also Check Out:
Serena Williams Pulls Out Of Tokyo, Beijing Remains On Her Schedule
Djokovic Cruises In Beijing; Murray Meets Milos In Tokyo
Roddick Faces Chardy in Tokyo; Wozniacki Bids for No. 1 in Beijing
ATP Fall Guide: Where The Big Boyz – Nadal, Djokovic, Federer – Will Be Playing
Nadal, Murray Collide For Tokyo Title; Berdych Battles Cilic In Beijing

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43 Comments for Raonic Comes Of Age? Upsets Murray In Tokyo; Djokovic Into Beijing Final Along With WTA Scream Queens

Brando Says:

Great win for raonic, he’s definitely a good bet to finish inside the top 10 before the year ends. That would be a massive achievement for him, at this stage in his career.

Breakthrough moment? Not too sure on that one really. Feel that Andy should have closed it out in the 3rd, and ultimately it is a 500 point tourny- certainly not the biggest event or stage.

Nonetheless, fantastic performance for Milos and only positives for him so far in this tourny.

Re Nole v tsonga: Nole is right IF jo fires he’s trouble for anyone pretty much anywhere. Should he do so here he can definitely beat nole. However, i don’t think he’ll be at his absolute best, on his A game- which is what he needs in order to entertain the possibility of a win.

So nole in 2 for me, a similar score to the Mayer match maybe the final result.


lazlo Says:

Did anyone notice Murray’s on-court behaviour during the match? He was shouting, swearing, hitting his hand with his racquet, punching his thighs, etc. He was behaving like a spoiled child. I take it that Lendl was not there to monitor his actions?


mat4 Says:

@Brando:

I completely agree with you that it is not a “breakthrough” match for Milos. I think, having watched the highlights — so my opinion could be biased, especially since I don’t like that kind of players — that Milos played a good match and Murray wasn’t at his top. Milos has a good game plan, adapted to his possibilities, and he managed to keep his composure when needed. Anyway, well done. But still, will root for Nishikori in the final.

About Novak vs JW: it should be a very tense match, I believe. The key, of course, will be Jo’s serve and Novak’s return. Jo played very good against Lopez.


lazlo Says:

Mat,
Reality check. Jo was playing someone with wrist problems who had a MTO and retired.


mat4 Says:

@lazlo:

Anyway, Jo played well the last few matches, he should be in good form. Hope it will be a good match, but without suspense — it is not good for my heart…


jane Says:

I wonder what will come of the Vika/Sharpie match; it seems like Azarenka has the upperhand in that rivalry, although the USO match was very close, and Maria just bageled Na Li. Could be an interesting final between these scream queens (when I write that I think of horror films, which may be apt for those people who would liken watching a match between these two as like watching a horror film, eeeeeek! “the horror, the horror,” hee hee).


mat4 Says:

Read somewhere that Sharpie was for the rule about screaming… but only after she retires…


Wog boy Says:

Miloš in two, maybe in three but not likely.
Don’t be surprised if you see Miloš in London, with a bit of luck.
Nole Tsonga tough call, Nole looked to last night like having running nose and some issuses?
Mayer did change his position in second set, returning like Rafa, from well behind baseline and had some amasing shots, parti ulary BH.


Alok Says:

@lazlo: lazlo Says:
Did anyone notice Murray’s on-court behaviour during the match? He was shouting, swearing, hitting his hand with his racquet, punching his thighs, etc. He was behaving like a spoiled child. I take it that Lendl was not there to monitor his actions?

October 6th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

—–

Yes, it was very bad. The commentators were apologizing, two Brits. I’ve seen players do either cursing or banging rackets, but this guy does all of it simultaneously, curse, swear, bang racket, punch his hands through them, and the umpires just ignore. To be fair on the cursing though, he speaks in English, and the other cursers do it in foreign tongues.

The handshake at the net was very abrupt. Milos appears to be a very nice guy, and he deserved a lot better from a top player.


Alok Says:

@mat4, I read Sharpie’s comment on Bleacher Report. I laughed at the reasons she gave for her and the others to discontinue their screaming. She said the young kids need to be taught that’s it’s Not OK.


Alok Says:

Milos could get to London if he wins this final and can nail it by going deep in Shanghai.

London could become very exciting with Milos there and he could be a nightmare for those players in his side of the draw.


mat4 Says:

@Alok:

Just hope she doesn’t always scream that loud… she could awake the neighbours…

Don’t think Raonic can make the WTF. Tsonga has almost 1000 points more, and he usually plays well in Paris.

About Murray’s behaviour: I use to like Murray a few years ago: his backhand, his spectacular passing shots, the elegant slice he plays… he also has an excellent sense of humour. In the meantime, I watched him in a lot of matches, and some scenes made me change my mind about him. But the point is that my opinion doesn’t matter. Who cares if he is a villain or not? The important are his results.


mat4 Says:

Hi, WB. Wanna bet? Muso Gonnosuke in three!


Wog boy Says:

Hi mat4,

I already lost a bottle of drink to you (two drinks to Michael, one ti Polo), but yes I will take a bet as long as it is friendly one….drink.
BTW, if Rafa doesn’t play London, as it looks like, Raonic doesn’t have to reach Tsonga only Janko and Janko looks tired, he played far too many tournament and it is catching up with him. I still hope Janko will make it but I am pretty sure people would like new face (Raonic) in London.


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Rafa has announced that he will play the WTF.


Wog boy Says:

I see, I missed that. To much work to do:(


Wog boy Says:

BTW, don’t you think YEC is better than WTF?
It doesn’t look ……. polite, does it:)?


mat4 Says:

Yes, indeed!


roy Says:

raonic will likely end up like karlovic or isner, in that he will always be dangerous, be able to beat anyone but lose to anyone as well.
i don’t think it would matter if that was murray playing today or some other top 50 guy. it would have been similar score.
because he can’t return serve. he’s completely reliant on his own serve.
he’ll do okay in 3 set matches where he can win in tiebreaks, breaking once in 3 sets.
5 set matches will be a problem.

you can’t regularly beat the very best with return stats like his. and it’s not about his height, it’s about his lack of ability. he’s not as good as people think. berdych has a 10% difference in return games won, which is why he is beating top guys regularly. soderling, delpotro, other big guys who have done very well because they can play when they’re not serving.
raonic has a better serve than these guys, but is nowhere near their level in other areas.

raonic doesn’t even have roddick’s return stats yet, and look what happened to roddick when the level rose. he never won a slam again.


bstevens Says:

If you saw the match between Murray and Raonic, you would know that Raonic has more than just a serve. He was returning very well against Murray and his backhand is looking better each tournament he plays. His net skills were superb and his tactics were spot on against the Scot. His movement may be a hindrance to challenging the top 4 week in and week out and I don’t think he can improve that. However, he does have one thing that most players don’t have: mental toughness. Raonic saved a matchpoint against Tipsarevic and 2 against Murray. The future (and present) is bright for the Canadian.


jamie Says:

mm loss big deal. Come the AO we will see slamurray.


jamie Says:

Edit.

mm loss is no big deal.

Murray only cares about slams.


Wog boy Says:

Agree with bstevens,

If you were following Raonic in last two years as I was, you can see that bloke is a thinker, is a learner and he is improving his game all the time, not as fast as his fans (his fan base is steadily growing) would like though. He learned his lesson from USO, changed his game and beat Andy not because Andy didn’t play well but because Raonic was better, better than one months ago.
Most impressive part of his personality to me is his poker face, as I said once, that is how I was trying to image Doc Holliday from the days of the American Old West:)


Wog boy Says:

“imagine”


Michael Says:

I think Milos Raonic has a very good potential to be a top player in future and even be a sure threat in slams. He has everything in his game going for him. A lethal serve combined with powerful strokes from both sides of the racquet. The guy is just 21 and keeps improving. This Japan open win would be a huge moral boosting win for him.


moam Says:

Put a capital “W” in the win column for the gentle giant. Roanic is a pleasure to watch. Great all court game, huge serve, unafraid to come to net and he’s competent there. Also has a very serene demeanor making him a likable player.
http://martinstake128.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/milos-raonic-an-imposing-emerging-force/


Margot Says:

What a pity Andy swears in English, unlike many.
Just possible he plays better in slams.
Has had back issues since RG. Has had cortisone injections. Looked very uncomfortable to me at Tokyo. Had treatment during one match.
Hope he’s OK for the rest of the year and can get it sorted during the “off” season.
Tennis players generally have so many injuries, shows how tough the game is these days.


Margot Says:

PS
Baggy destroyed 4 racquets in his match. Andy’s such an amateur….lol


mat4 Says:

Hi Margot! For your information, since

WB: I hate to say it… but I told you. Kei in three?!


mat4 Says:

Sorry, Margot. I didn’t finish the sentence. You are quite right: other players swear in a very nasty manner.


mat4 Says:

Tsonga looks supreme, meanwhile.


Margot Says:

Well played Kei! Love him to bits :)
Hope his injuries are way behind him and he’ll get into the top 10 very soon :)
@mat4
Good shout *thumbs up*


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

Yes, that is my man, NOOOOOOVAK
DJOOOOOOKOVIC :-)

BTW, where do you want your drink delivered?


mat4 Says:

WB:

I will wait just a few bets more, then will have a good reason to make a little trip to Melbourne.


sienna Says:

Congrats to Djoker. He seems to be the man to beat whenever Fed is not in the draw.

Next week it would not be so easy for him. I predict a Fed-Djoker final with Fed beating him in three sets.

Giving Fed the momentum he needs to put novak to rest in the last month of the year.


Margot Says:

Well played Nole. Was very impressed how, at every opportunity, he was pushing forwards. He out Tsongered, Tsonger. Very Federesque in fact.
mat4…u were saying something about JWT…;)


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

Hopefully, we Nole fans we can always count on Jo to try an ace with a second serve when it matters the most.


mat4 Says:

BTW, did you notice that French players often swear in English, too?


Wog boy Says:

mat4,

You will not regret “little” trip to Melbourne, trust me.
I was there last weekend, it was long weekend here, and I will be there last week of AO 2013. Just love the place. Lot to see, lot to do in and around Melbourne…..best Italian and Greek restaurants too.


Margot Says:

Lol mat4, Tsonga is SO RELIABLE in THAT way….;)


tennismonger Says:

More like a breakthrough for Kei…but he was looking pretty good 4(!) years ago when he waxed Blake @ Delray Beach. Japan’s answer to Marcelo Rios? Only injuries seem to be holding him back.


jamie Says:

Raonic losing to Kei. LOL. Players born in the early 90s are huge mugs.


Federer, Djokovic, Murray Makes Their Shanghai Debuts Wednesday; Isner Saves 3 MPs, Tomic Tanking? Says:

[...] who was stunned by Milos Raonic in Tokyo over the weekend, begins against Florian Mayer. Murray has won the Shanghai title the last two [...]

Top story: US Open: Roger Federer Has To Like His Draw, Djokovic And Murray Probably Won't!
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2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
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