While Halle was hit with upsets, the “dream” final in Queen’s was set today as Andy Murray and Milos Raonic will battle for the title on Sunday.
The greater subplot is Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe will resume their rivalry but from the coaching boxes. What are the odds? The first week the two get back into coaching and already they meet?
But let’s slow down. After just a week it’s hard to say how much impact Lendl or McEnroe has really had. Since re-signing Lendl, Murray has looked shaky all week, struggling in his opener against Nicolas Mahut, dropping a set to 21-year-old countryman Kyle Edmund yesterday and today again going three sets 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to beat fellow former champion Marin Cilic.
So it hasn’t been particularly convincing but he’s winning and he’s winning deciding sets, he’ll point out.
“The third sets today and in the match with Kyle were a very high level from my side of the court, and that’s very pleasing because I know my best tennis is in there,” Murray said. “Obviously just have to try to get the consistency there, which comes with matches and time on the court.”
Raonic has played better on paper. He lost his opening set to Nick Kyrgios and that’s been it. But he hasn’t really been tested by anyone otherwise, and that includes Krygios’s countryman Bernard Tomic. Today in his semifinal, Roanic cruised 6-4, 6-4 over Bernie. And through four matches this week the Canadian hasn’t lost serve saving all seven break chances against him.
Head-to-head, Lendl leads McEnroe 21-15, er…Murray leads Raonic 5-3 winning the last four including two this year memorably in five sets at the Australian Open and a blowout 6-2, 6-0 victory at Monte Carlo. In both losses Raonic was dealing with injuries. This time he won’t be.
“For me it’s going to be about trying to dictate and play on my terms,” Raonic said. “For him it’s going to be trying to take away time from me and trying to make me play as much as possible.”
This will be their first tussle on the grass and first at an event Murray’s won four times. And I think it’s going to be five.
“Obviously [his] serve is the biggest strength in his game,” Murray said. “If I get any chances, it’s important to take them when they come, because there’s not going to be too many.”
And he’s right. So Murray will have to be extra careful not to drop his serve (dropping serve to Raonic on grass is akin to just dropping the set!).
So Raonic and that serve of his will keep it tight, but I think Murray’s experience and urgency gets him the win here. And Mr. Lendl doesn’t want to lose to McEnroe. No way.
The Pick: Murray in three
If the match is boring – Raonic matches trend in that direction – the coaching boxes might offer some relief, especially Milos’s!
Tennis Channel will have live coverage of the Murray-Raonic final at 9:15am ET. And it could be a preview of a match we’ll see the final weekend at Wimbledon!
SUNDAY QUEEN’S SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 2:15 pm
 A. Murray (GBR) vs  M. Raonic (CAN)
 P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) or [Q] C. Guccione (AUS) / A. Sa (BRA)
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