Milos Raonic: I’m Not Playing Roger Federer, I’m Just Playing A Guy Standing In My Way
by Tom Gainey | July 2nd, 2014, 8:01 pm
  • 39 Comments

Milos Raonic advanced to his first career Grand Slam semifinal today at Wimbledon where he’ll meet 7-time champion Roger Federer. But the Canadian has a plan and the plan is not to worry who’s across the net.

“I’m going to step out there and I’m not playing the seven-time Wimbledon champion,” Roanic said following a 4-set win over Nick Kyrgios. “I’m not playing a 32-year-old man. I’m not playing father of two sets of twins, which is a very low possibility I bet to do. I’m not playing the guy that’s won whatever he’s won, which I could probably list quite vividly.

“I’m playing a guy that is standing in my way of what I want to achieve, and I’ve got to focus on everything that’s there, on the situation, how best to deal with it to give myself the best possibilities to achieve what I want.”

Raonic possesses one of the biggest serves in the sport- he leads Wimbledon in aces – and he happens to be one of the more thoughtful players as well. The 23-year-old addressed the journey of phenom to someone who’s finally broken through.

“It’s things I’ve had to face,” Raonic said. “You can face them after you break through or you can face them before. But it’s bumps, moments of disbelief, moments of doubt, moments of the best feelings that you’ll have, and you have to face them. You can face them at No. 30 in the world, you can face them at No. 10 in the world, but those are challenges you’re going to have to put up with if you want to achieve the pinnacle of this sport.

“In 2011 I broke through and I did a lot of things quickly, but I cannot say I had the level or by any means the understanding of, Okay, I’m going to be the next great one in a year or whatever that saying might have been.

“I was far from that. There was a lot of developing I needed to do. There was a lot of learning, understanding about myself, about other people, about situations, about tennis, about life outside of tennis. There’s a lot you have to go through.

“I’ve been able to go through that. I’ve been I feel every year getting better and better. I think this year I probably stepped it up a little bit more than I did maybe from 2011 to the 2013 season.

“I have a lot more understanding and stuff, but I don’t think that you can do that in one year just because I went from whatever it was, 150 to 37, in however many weeks. The next steps are much harder.”

Raonic has never beaten Federer in four tries.

“I’ve played him I believe four times now,” Raonic said. “He’s gotten the better of me all four times. But I haven’t played him I think in more than a year, a year and a bit, so I think I’m a different player.

“I’ve got in close with him in the past and I’ve found a lot of those things I can sort of pull away that give me a lot of belief that I can do this. So there’s no point to talk about it. I’ve got to step up and do it.”

Raonic will have that chance on Friday.


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39 Comments for Milos Raonic: I’m Not Playing Roger Federer, I’m Just Playing A Guy Standing In My Way

Tennis Fan Says:

This guy means to win … he is absolutely determined … I think this is going to be a very close and difficult match for both players.


SG1 Says:

Uncle Toni seems to be spitting out those sour grapes.


skeezer Says:

Jane,
Thanks loved that link and once again exposed Unc Toni, whiner magnificent. Also loved how the article ended with the vid of the kids tweener winner.
#excusesstartwithUNC


Tennis Fan Says:

well actually Kyrgios seemed to be having trouble aceing Raonic … maybe there are players that can handle his serve better than others ….


skeezer Says:

And about the “lottery”, guess the odds have been great, we all should play, darces, rosol, krygios, lmao.
#unctonimyhero


Eric Says:

Skeezer, is there any chance you might stop making the rest of us Federer fans look bad? Thanks. You used to be reasonable…

Logic says Federer is the favorite on Friday, but I feel like he’s going to lose. He was OK against Stan, but nothing special. I was relieved and a bit surprised that he won after tuning in during the second set. On the other hand, Wawa is actually not a bad tune-up for Raonic– nothing like his serve, but they both play with a lot of pace. Unfortunately I haven’t seen any of Raonic’s matches this year, but his results speak for themselves. Better than I thought possible, although Nishikori’s health was a question mark (didn’t see the match at all) and Raonic didn’t really play anyone else with close to his game before Kyrgios. So, we’ll see on Friday. Hope Roger has one more in him.


ertorque Says:

It’s going to be a close tussle I believe. We all know what damage Raonic is capable of inflicting with his monstrous serve (even his second serve). Nishikori at 5’10 was really at the receiving end of his serve through out the match.
Roger’s only other match on grass (Halle) against the Canadian was a close 3 sets affair victory for Roger but I think there is a real chance it could go Raonic’s way tomorrow. Roanic moves pretty well given his size and his long reach sort of compensates for whatever speed lack there is. It’s common knowledge but Roger must serve well and keep his UEs low to be competitive. C’mon Roger!!


skeezer Says:

@Eric
Sorry, but me must be tainted(along with many others) from all the anti Fed rafanantics posts the last 2 years. I disagree completely that It makes Fed fans look bad. You read?
It was relentless and totally uncalled for. Things were all good until those idiots came on and trashed every player except Nadull. The jealousy was evident, and the cause was unjustified.
Regarding Fed, it would be great if he wins another, but his status and goatness is already cemented. This would just add another ring to the ladder of his all time greatness. That said, this is the best tourney and Slam ever and would love to see the padawans break through and win. Wimby is the best ever!
#goatfednodoubt
#wimbyrocks


Eric Says:

I’m with you, man, just grouchy and tired of all the Rafa-Fed flame wars.


Michael Says:

Raonic is not playing Roger. He is playing his Legend.

Well this particular match between Nick Vs Raonic, what a contrast from the match Nick had with Rafa. His razor sharp serve against Rafa who couldn’t even read the second serve well, looked impotent against Raonic and he was returning it with interest. Nick is learning the Tennis lessons the hard way. It is easy to cause a major upset and become a Giant Killer, but very difficult to follow it up and he has discovered this much to his consternation. Raonic deserves his semi final spot and what a block buster match that would be against Roger. It is nice to see the next generation players come of age and challenge the mighty in their own den.


Colin Says:

If Roger wins this tournament, I trust everyone, including the Fed fans will agree there should be an asterisk against the win, since potential dangers were playing an overloaded schedule this week.

And, Skeezer, you know very well you can’t peg ME as a Rafanatic!


metan Says:

@Jane,
Sure Toni Nadal will be no friend with Nick the wild thing. He is honest, no.
And I am glad that he said that it means he has taken notice that Rafa has troubles playing against all the giants and he will back him up with new strategy. Yay!!!

I guess when he mention lottery, it is more to Nick styles. He should not use all his power full serving all the time coz it is taken tall into his body for next match.


Colin Says:

It’s now been a while since Raonic was first touted as the next big thing. There was a spell when it seemed he wasn’t going to fulfil that promise, but now he’s really blossoming.

Soemewhere – can’t remember where – I recently saw a breakdown of Any Murray’s record against very tall players with big serves. It’s very impressive, but the exception is … Raonic. I wonder what is special about the Canadian’s serve, and I’d be interested to find an expert analysis. Of course, as Milos has just proved, he ain’t bad at returning himself!


Polo Says:

Colin, following your line of thinking, we should put asterisks against the names of all winners in all tournaments because all of them have potential dangers that they don’t get to play against. And also because not all of the seeded players make it to the level expected of them, this invalidates the glory accorded to the eventual winner. Great thinking! Where do you live, Utopia?


madmax Says:

Colin, very, very poor argument. Glad Polo responded with some clarity there. Not like you to stoop so low. :(

I would have agreed with you if ALL those who “benefitted” from not having to play three days in a row were through, but they are not. Rafa “benefitted”, knocked out, Murray “benefitted”, knocked out, Federer “benefitted”, still kicking, Novak “benefitted”, still kicking. Raonic “benefitted”, still kicking.

Remember the time also spent on court. Stan was the first to say that he did not feel affected by this schedule (prior to the matches he played before Roger) as he got the job done, quickly and efficiently. If, of course, he was taking a bit more time, and potentially playing 5 sets in all of his three matches prior to the QFs, then we would be talking a different story.

Not only that, each match he did play, was played under 2 hours in each of those matches. He would have played a practice session for around about that time too.

Raonic is witty about Roger’s cv, “I’m not playing a 32-year-old man. I’m not playing father of two sets of twins, which is a very low possibility I bet to do.” :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not only that, seems that Wawa has inspired him!

Talk of a sea change in the sport is gathering pace.

“It goes around, it resonates,” Raonic said when asked to reflect on a potential changing of the guard at the top of the men’s game. “The one result that stands out the most this year has to be, at least in my eyes and maybe other guys as well, is what Stan [Wawrinka] did at the beginning of the year. Beating Novak and Rafa in that same time [at the Australian Open], because you have to do it, that one was the biggest sigh of belief and relief for a lot of guys.

“I felt it when I was watching it in Tokyo during Davis Cup. You felt like, ‘Okay, he did it. I feel like I compete well with this guy – why can’t I do it?’”

Roger had better be well prepared and out of the blocks quickly!


Giles Says:

Go Raonic, go!!


Tennis Fan Says:

Rank Player Country Matches Aces
1 M.Raonic CAN 5 147

Rank Player Country Matches Fastest serve speed
2 M.Raonic CAN 5 141 mph

Rank Player Matches 1st serve points won
1 M.Raonic 5 275 of 313 = 88 %

Rank Player Matches 2nd serve points won
4 M.Raonic 5 96 of 146 = 66 %

Rank Player 1st serve receiving points won
6 M.Raonic 5 101

Rank Player 2nd serve return pts won
10 M.Raonic CAN 5 85


calmdownplease Says:

I have to be honest but Fed looked very gassed after the Wawrinka match.
It was less than 3hours too.
Granted he had to play 2 days in a row but then Novak hasn’t.
If he plays his game well Raonic could well cause the upset.
And if he doesn’t its probably going to be Novak (who to be fair is looking a little ropey too)that he faces.
Its very debatable that he will have enough in the tank to win this year.


Brando Says:

There are no asterisks wins at all. In Fed’s possible scenario though – and let the truth reign for once- he’s had a dream draw. R1-R16 was as comfortable as you could wish for. QF: a day 3 Wawrinka who even Fed acknowledged as being ill. SF? First time SF at any GS. F? Possibly a first finalist or a out of sorts Djokovic. As close to ideal as you’d want! Like I said: there is no asterisk but this is as close to a gimme as you could wish for. Heck: if Rafa got a similar deal at FO we know for certain atleast a few familiar Fed fans would call it a freebie. So lets knock off the double standards now: no asterisk at all. The final draw to a possible win?As close to ideal as you could wish for!


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal did get a similar deal at the FO. Players ranked God-knows-what from first to 4th round. One of his many pidgeons in the quarters. A completely drained and incompetend on clay Murray. And an out of sorts Djokovic in the final.


skeezer Says:

“Heck: if Rafa got a similar deal at FO ..”
O don’t get the thread started comparing Rafa’s cupcake draws over the years. Especially the FO, and USO he’s had some especial chocolate fudge cupcake as well in the past.
Problem with him now is apparently ANY draw is dangerous. You know darces rosol etc etc


skeezer Says:

On paper Rafa had a dream draw till the qtrs. its not the draws fault he lost to #144.


Brando Says:

^seriously Granps: knock it off! You have descended into a pitiful full time Nadal troll. It’s getting pathetic. Anyone with a semblance of intelligence would tell you that for Rafa a big server and/or hitter would be problematic for him prior to beig deep into the event. And so it proved. He was shaky in all matches and finally got taken out in R16. The opponents rank- who the hell cares about other than trash talking hater? No one! As most observers without prejudice commentated: Nadal considering his woes on Grass post 2011 needed good fortune in his draw to avoid those big hitters and work his way into some form and confidence. Were he to get deep into the event at the SF stage then he can do his thing. Lets be honest: had it been a Nadal v Fed SF not Raonic v Fed exactly how chirpy would you be now Pre match? Not so much I figure and for good reason I won’t venture into. For Rafa: he tried his best, improved in some respects but unfortunately lost to what was always going to be the toughest type for him to face: a guy who knocked out 100 points that combined aces and winners! No shame about that as he said himself: he’s cool with his performance and off to the beach. I’m off to now, ill let you stick around and post more anti Nadal drivel as you do 99% of the time and most here recognise as doing so!


Giles Says:

Fed certainly looked gassed after Wawa match. Geez! For the first time ever I saw that he was sweating at his on court interview!
#SweatyFed
#ThatsAFirst


kjb Says:

I still give Federer a pretty big edge in this match. As dominant as Milos serve is, federers is just as potent on this surface. I think that there is going to definetly be some tiebreaks but Milos hasn’t played against anyone close to Fed competency on grass as of yet in the tourny. Fed has made a career out of taming big servers, his variety and ability to take the ball so early will be a difference maker in the match. And Fed had been broken less than Milos has in the tounament. I think Milos will have to serve the match of his life and it still might not be enough. Fed in 4.


Hippy Chic Says:

Grass used to be Rafas second best surface,5 Wimby finals with two titles is historically still a fantastic record,only Roger of the active players has more,and for a player that is merely desribed as a CC specialist thats hardly anything to be ashamed of(the channel slam twice),its just that hes not the force he was anymore,the irony is he now has a better on the HCs,3 finals at both the AO and USO,of the active players,only Roger has more GS at the USO,and only Roger and Novak have more GS at the AO.


Colin Says:

Polo and Madmax, I was merely having a grumpy dig at all the people who bang on and on about Murray being “lucky” at Wimbledon, the Olympic final, and the USO he won. See,for instance the posting on June 19th from the one and only (thank goodness) Voicemale1.

Polo, of course I don’t think there should be asterisks against every winner (I don’t in fact believe in any asterisks, ever), but it is a fact that lots of people are eager to downgrade wins by players they don’t support.


madmax Says:

Brando, a bit unfair I think. You refer to Roger, but come on! “R1-R16 was as comfortable as you could wish for, FOR RAFA!”

Roger’s opponents were much tougher in terms of their seeding at Wimbledon Brando, so I am really surprised at your outburst here.

Rafa has had a great draw at Wimbledon. His opponents in this order, Klizan (51), Rosol (52), Kukushkin (88), Kyrgios, (144). Compare this to Roger’s draw further down and your argument doesn’t hold. (You are normally great with your stats Brando).

It’s the first time since 1992 that a player ranked outside the top 100 defeated a number 1 player.

It was Kyrgios day. He has been played up a lot prior to Wimbledon, no one would have expected this result – certainly not me for one – I had pegged Rafa on winning Wimbledon, certainly reaching the final. Why wouldn’t he?

Yes, he has had problems with big hitters in the past, but who hasn’t? Roger, Novak and Murray, all have had the same obstacles, but have played their own game in order to combat these players. He has both overcome and defeated them before, Isner, Raonic, Roddick, Karlovic, so you can’t say that just because he has problems with big hitters, that that is a reason/excuse for his loss.

He is world no. 1, earnt his place to get there, and as many a poster has said before, each tournament balances itself out over the year, with the so called “cup cake draws”. I happen to think that Novak is playing particularly well, certainly NOT “out of sorts”. Are we looking/talking about the same player here?

It was unbelievable what Kyrgio achieved. But then no different to what Rafa achieved when he was 19 years of age.

Your comments about Federer’s “comfortable draw?” – How so? Let’s look at the facts, shall we?

FEDERER: His opponents, seeded: Giraldo, 35 Robredo, 23, Wawrinka, 5, Raonic, 8. A pretty tricky draw, dont you think?

Compare this to Rafa’s opponents, and you will see, quite clearly who has had the most comfortable draw – it is just that, as seems to be the case, Roger makes it look easier than most, when playing on grass.

Now for tomorrow’s match, would be good to get some proper input on the different tennis styles and who will come out with the goods that day.

Brando, did you also take on board Rafa’s “cushty draw at the F0?”, somehow I don’t think you did!

French Open: Rafa’s opponents Ginepri, (278, wild card) Thiem,(57) Mayer, (64) Lajovic, (84) it was only at the QFs that he started to play the more dangerous players, like Ferrer,(5) Murray (3) and Djokovic (2), but subsequent to the QFs, you couldnt get more “comfortable” at the FO! It was a cushty draw for Rafa, no doubt about it!


Okiegal Says:

Uncle Tony was standing up giving the Kid a gracious round of applause……I know it wasn’t Rafa he was clapping for……since he lost. Agree with him on another point……ace ace ace ace……BORING!! LOL

#grinding
#more exciting!


Hippy Chic Says:

Rafas draw was cushy at the FO,but im not exactly sure what hes got left to prove there anymore?with his abysmal showings on grass the last 3 years you could put any Tom,Dick or Harry in his half of the draw and he would most likely get beat,Federer got a tougher draw,so did Novak and Andyish?but they are all better on grass than Rafa now anyway so i dont see the problem?


madmax Says:

Giles Says:
Fed certainly looked gassed after Wawa match. Geez! For the first time ever I saw that he was sweating at his on court interview!
#SweatyFed
#ThatsAFirst

July 3rd, 2014 at 11:12 am

Giles, it’s called working for a living :)

Wawa made him work, and thankfully, he came through!

Vamos Federer!
#stayhealthy#


madmax Says:

Hippy, it was in answer to Brando’s post above, where he said that Federer got a cushy draw! When looking at the facts, this is so not the case. I don’t know how anyone can even argue this.

It was you a while back, I think along with me and a few others who talked about “cushy draws”, that they all pan out along the way, over time – remember?


Hippy Chic Says:

Madmax yeah i do fair enough….


Hippy Chic Says:

I think its always the same when draws come out,some fans attack their favorites rivals when it comes to the draws,like its the players fault,and some workings of a conspiracy theory,its seems like people are wanting their favorites rivals to fail,rather than wanting their favorites to succeed….


madmax Says:

Ah Hippy. I think here, it is just a case of bad tempers every once in a while. We all get fed up with the constant shredding of opponents’ games. It doesn’t matter so much because really, whoever is the opposite side of the net,is the one to play and it doesn’t matter how they got there, they did. So just get on with it!

It’s nice to talk about it though, because we all have different view points, fall out, make up, understand, misunderstand, give a damn, don’t give a damn, watch the match, don’t watch the matter.

It doesn’t really matter. As you said before, this is not a reality.

I looked at Brando’s post and could see, at a glance, that Federer did NOT have a cushy draw at Wimby in comparison to Rafa, that was the issue.

Anyway, who do you think is going to win tomorrow? Mens SFs?


madmax Says:

“don’t watch the match!”


Hippy Chic Says:

Madmax honestly its too hard to call,Novak and Roger i would say as they have more experience with dealing with this level,cant see Novak losing three sets,but i belive Fed needs to play the way he has all tournament then he will also make the final.


Humble Rafa Says:

Uncle Toni has a good point here, as always. I thought about taking my break while he was serving. What’s the point.

Dr. Ivo, K-boy and some guy from Canadia. They destroy the game.


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Rankings
ATP - Jul 28 WTA - Jul 28
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
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