Milos Raonic Apologizes For No-Call Net Touch, Plans To Speak With Del Potro
by Tom Gainey | August 13th, 2013, 9:39 am

Milos Raonic arrived into Cincinnati’s Western and Southern Open yesterday as a first-time Top 10 player after the best week of his pro career in Montreal where he reached the singles final losing to Rafael Nadal Sunday. But all wasn’t rosy for the 22-year-old who created controversy and outrage over his no-call at the net during a win over Juan Martin Del Potro last week.

Speaking to press in Cincinnati on Monday, Raonic admitted he was in the wrong in how he handled the situation.

“I feel like I made a mistake in the spur of the moment, something, I guess, because I hadn’t been faced with it before,” Raonic said. “I’m disappointed with myself how I dealt with it, and it’s something I learned a lot from. I really didn’t have the opportunity until really the last two days to think about it that much. It’s something that I feel sorry about and something I want to apologize to Juan when I see him here.

“I don’t think I dealt with that the right way and I think it’s something that I probably should have in that situation, and probably in the future, call on myself.”

Del Potro was serving 4-3, 40-40 when Raonic slid into the net as he put away a short ball. The touch was clear to everyone watching including Del Potro, but the umpire never saw it. Raonic took the point and never lost another against the visibly upset Del Potro.

Afterward, Raonic said he was fortunate to get the no-call, “I was fortunate that the line judge didn’t see it. It’s a lucky thing for me in my sense, unlucky for him. Something that can go really both ways. It’s sort of the exact same thing as having no challenges left and you get a bad line call. It’s like a bad‑luck thing. It was hard to sort of be able to take this point on such a big point.”

Raonic will play American wildcard Jack Sock tonight at the Cincinnati first round.

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19 Comments for Milos Raonic Apologizes For No-Call Net Touch, Plans To Speak With Del Potro

f1ghirl Says:

Lesson learned.
He did give us though “hypothetically yes, technically no” quote so there’s that. :)

SG1 Says:

Raonic needs to get a little meaner. How many times have players seen a ball called out that they knew was in but didn’t speak up? It’s the same thing. You get good breaks and bad ones.

Jack Lewis Says:

Yes, Raonic should really not work at being more honest, great point. Getting meaner will obviously translate to success… or maybe he just needs to work more on his game.

“How many times have players seen a ball called out that they knew was in but didn’t speak up? It’s the same thing.”

No it’s not the same thing at all. There are line judges who are paid to check these lines all the time, are closer to them and see them better. Not to mention the umpire who also typically has his eye on the ball and can chime in. The player who’s ball got called out also has this thing called challenges. Player gets the ball on his end, he thingks it’s in so he hits in (that’s the end of his involvement). Now if it gets called out, the other player might actually ask him how he saw it and he might actually say it was a close call or not. So slipping and touching the net after a winner when nobody is keeping a vigilant eye on the net is not a similar situation. I would have like to see Raonic own up to it but I also understand how fast these things happen and the tension, pressure. The way he moved right as it happened he probably even thought the umpire had seen it too.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Good move. Good for him.

Alicia Says:

Too late to regret. And I don´t believe him, I think someone advised him to apologize.

Alex Says:


I agree, its so obvious. Its the same thing that anyone would do in that situation bar none.

What choice did he really have?

SG1 Says:

Raonic has no obligation to call anything on himself (nor should he). This isn’t the knitting club. There’s a lot at stake. If the people paid to make the calls blow the calls, that’s just too bad. It’s a bad break. Those things go both ways. I remember the final of the 09 USO where DelPo took quite a bit of time before challenging a call with shot spot. The umpire blew it and let him get away with it. Stuff happens.

Raonic isn’t a bad sport for not calling it on himself. Was his behaviour that of a true sportsman and a role model? No it was not. Generally speaking, if you’re looking for role models, stay far away from athletes.

SG1 Says:

While I agree that “getting meaner” doesn’t translate into being more consistent or moving better, it sends the message that you’re not intimidated by your opponent’s resume. Showing too much respect can come off as a sign of weakness which gives your opponent an edge. You don’t give your opponent anything. You don’t try to hurt them and you don’t set out to intentionally cheat them. You do however send the message that you will do everything you can to win.

Polo Says:

Spin doctors at work here. Too late. He should have been more honest in the first place. Then he had his seoond chance in the interview and still did not own of to it. Only when it has become obvious that his reputation has been tarnished did his spin doctors try to wiggle him out of it. Raonic has already shown his true colors. When his back is against the wall, his natural instinct is to cheat.

Polo Says:

own “up”, not own “of”

Nadalista Says:

Cheating, which is what Raonic did, is not a sign of strength, quite the opposite. I doubt JMDP will be quaking in his boots next time he plays Milos, quite the opposite.

roy Says:

spot on from POLO

raonic’s first reaction was the genuine one. the reaction where he had no problem with it.
if you have to ”learn” basic morals as an adult then that speaks volumes about your true nature.

this ”apology” only happened because of the backlash. it’s damage control. so it means nothing.

similar to the usopen where the melzer doubles team cheated, took the the win, but then came crawling back afterwards to ”apologize” to the polish players, whose response was something like: it means nothing now.
and likewise this means nothing now.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Not quite the same thing i know,but i remember Maradonas handball against England in the World Cup,people have good memories and are still talking about the incident even now,an apology now is not of much compensation,however Raonic is still young and made a mistake,and although he cannot undo whats already done,i dont think this makes him a bad person,i dont think he will make the same mistake again,someone said the same thing happened to Roddick in a match some years ago,although personally i dont remember the incident,anyway Roddick owning up meant he lost the match in the end,but gained alot of respect coming away a better person because of it.

SG1 Says:

These statement differentiating Raonic’s sportsmanship from others is ridiculous. There are an awful lot of players who would have handled it just like Raonic did in that moment. Tennis, like all other sports, is filled with more than it’s share of less than admirable characters. I’m not saying Raonic was right. I’m saying that he acted in a way that many others would have. To single him out in this instance just doesn’t hold water with me. Did he make a mistake? Maybe? Did he cheat? Perhaps. Is he any worse than many others on tour? Not a chance.

SG1 Says:

Cheating generally implies a preconceived plan to do so. Raonic had no such plan. Players don’t call the points. The refs and linesmen do. If they screwed up, they screwed up.

nobilitee Says:

No question Raonic should have conceded the point…but for whatever reason he didn’t own up to it. And now he has a well-deserved bad reputation that will follow him forever. Unless of course he does the right thing now and that would be to disqualify himself as the runner-up, return the trophy along with the money he made by advancing past the quarter finals. This is the only meaningful act he could do at this point to win back this tennis fan’s respect.

MMT Says:

I know I’m late to the game, but here are is the ATP rulebook.


There is nothing in the rules compelling Raonic to call touch on himself, so this is not cheating. But it is very unsporting and he should be ashamed of himself. That others would do the same just means he is in very poor company, it is not an excuse, nor does it absolve him of being a good sport.

This is very different from a ball a player believes is out – no matter what you think you saw, it is merely an opinon, and if you want to give the point to your opponent, you can, but at the end of the day, that is your opinion.

Here, he touched the net, he knew he touched the net, the umpire missed it, and he accepted the point. I don’t think he should have, no matter what is on the line. After all, what really is the value of gains ill-begotten?

Finally, I think there should be a provision to allow the umpire to reverse his decision based on what he sees in a video replay – I know hawkeye is not designed for this, but if the replay shows that a player touched the net or that the ball bounced twice, I don’t see why the umpire cannot reverse an incorrect decision?

Finally, what the hell is happening to Mohammed Layani – I’ve always been a bit irritated by his hamming for the camera and his high volume overrules, but now he’s actually screwing up matches. His performance in the Wimbledon final was miserable, and lately he seems to be on the wrong end of a lot of poor decisions.

Maybe he has lost his nerve and should move on to being a tournament referee.

Andy Coleman Says:

The umpire ascertion that the ball was dead before Milos touched the net was the call. He didn’t ask Milos IF he touched the net…nor did he ascert that Milos never touched the net. The umpire believed any contact with the net was AFTER the ball was no longer in play for Del Potro to return. That issue was not for Roanic to determine. It was pretty cheap of Del Potro to diss Roanic post-match. The point was good. Del Potro had no play on it. The ball was down before Roanic touched the loose bottomed net with his toe. Perhaps the 2nd bounce that was also well out of Del Potro’s reach was NOT…but the umpire was the ONE who determined that. Challenging the official for a reversal was Del Potro’s right…but putting this on Roanic is cheap & sour grapes.

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Andy Coleman your over a month late posting on this thread,having said that me too lol.

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