Milos Raonic teamed with Ernests Gulbis this week in the Indian Wells doubles draw. The two made the second round where they lost to Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka.
But the Canadian bomber shared some insight of what it’s like to play with someone like Ernests who is also in singles fourth round play today.
“He’s a lot of fun. There is a lot of fun things,” Raonic said. “The best part is it’s very unpredictable.”
Raonic had high hopes coming into the year. The 23-year-old finished 2013 at a year-end career high No. 11 after titles in San Jose and Bangkok.
On the eve of the new year, Raonic hired Riccardo Piatti as he new fitness coach to join Ivan Ljubicic. But his start to the season was stunted by a torn tendon in his left ankle he suffered in his Australian Open first round match against Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
He continued in the tournament losing in the third round to Grigor Dimitrov, but the injury forced him off the tour until this week.
“I have pretty much yet to play a match healthy this year, so this was pretty much a first one,” Roanic said after beating Roger Vasselin in the first round over the weekend. “I was not out for however many weeks being able to train, so I was very limited. To get through this is very important. I feel like I’m hitting the ball well. I just sort of have to figure out my rhythm of playing the points, how to play in certain situations, and so forth.”
Raonic is seeking a fourth Masters 1000 quarterfinal – he was a finalist at the Canadian Open last year and twice reached the final eight in 2012.
In his path today is Wimbledon champion Andy Murray. Raonic has won two of three however the two haven’t played since 2012 when they had all of their meetings, including a comprehensive win by Murray at the US Open.
“The one thing that stands out is he beat me at the most important one out of them all, and he did that quite handily,” Raonic said of Murray’s US Open win. “Obviously he went on to win his first Grand Slam, so I know what he’s very capable of and I know what I’m capable of. I’m not really giving too much thought to those past encounters. Only thing I look at is what I need to do. I don’t think those results will have any factors in what will happen two days from now.”
Added Murray, “I haven’t played him in these sort of conditions. I mean, I played him, you know, at the US Open; we played in the evening. It was a little bit slower, and so I returned his serve well. I played him in Tokyo and I served for the match against him ‑‑no, didn’t serve for the match, had match point on his serve in Tokyo. So when I’ve played him I have done fine returning his serve. But, you know, here it’s, you know, just a bit different because of the conditions.”
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