Milos Raonic: I Think I’m Fitter, Stronger And Faster For 2015
by Tom Gainey | January 6th, 2015, 10:14 am

Milos Raonic has sent a warning to his fellow players. The Canadian, who continues to climb up the rankings. says he’s much-improved heading into the new tennis year.

“I had a really good off‑season,” Raonic said of his 4-week training block in Monte Carlo. “I focused a lot on general improvement. I think I got fitter, stronger, faster. Then I just really focused on what I needed to do, what changes I needed to make. We spent a lot of time focusing especially on the first shots, make sure I return better, and that serve better in this year.”

Raonic is part of a new generation including Grigor Dimitrov, Kei Nishikori that he thinks will break through at a Slam sooner rather than later.

“I think there is definitely somebody in this group ‑‑ and I believe in myself highly ‑‑ that can definitely step up and win one of the big four tournaments,” he said. “I look forward to those challenges, especially at the big events.”

And Raonic says he knows what he needs to do to get there.

“I just got to tighten up in specific moments,” he said. “Sometimes I feel like I got to play a little bit better when it comes down to clutch moments, especially later in sets. A lot of times I’ve sort of been able to get myself in that position, and only really one time against Roger in Paris was I able to make the most of it.
But I keep putting myself in that position. I think having a chance to look back over a longer period of time, having a chance to improve, I can deal better with those moments.”

The 8th-ranked Raonic will open his 2015 season against Mikhail Kukushkin in the second round at Brisbane.

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9 Comments for Milos Raonic: I Think I’m Fitter, Stronger And Faster For 2015

jane Says:

it makes sense that both raonic and tomic are zeroing in on movement. definitely an issue for these taller guys. i think delpo and cilic are the best movers are the “taller” players.

skeezer Says:

Cilic’s movement @ USO was the best I ever saw of a big guy. Bird moves pretty well also//from the BC.

SG1 Says:

Raonic has to figure out how to beat guys that force you to hit one more great shot like Andy, Novak and Nishikori. Being a big guy, it’s not easy to keep all the moving parts in sync when you’re being run around.

Sampras had a similar issue with Michael Chang but I think that at one point, he became strong enough to hit through Chang.

I don’t think that Milos will be able to solve his problem with more power. He’ll have to find a way (strategically or otherwise) to keep the points short. This means hitting a better 2nd serve and getting to the net more effectively.

SG1 Says:

Agreed on Cilic, DelPo and Berdych. They do move surprisingly well for big guys. But, I don’t think that work alone made them good movers for their size. I think they are more naturally coordinated than a guy like Raonic. Look at the NBA. Tim Duncan, LeBron James and Shaq are all relatively big guys. Bigger than tennis players yet they move with ease and they look natural doing so.

My doubts about Raonic (…and I’m Canadian), come from the awkwardness of how he moves. He doesn’t seem like a guy that will ever look like a natural athlete. He’s made huge strides last year and working with Ljuby has helped take him to levels I didn’t think were possible. But, I do think he’s close to his ceiling. I do hope I’m wrong though.

Margot Says:

Hmmm. To get Berd to move 4ward u’d have to run behind him with a pack of wolves….

RZ Says:

Better movement will help Raonic but I hope he’s also working on his return of serve. Says:

Certainly movement was not Raonic’s only problem, but it is a big one, and if he’s made major improvements there, well, he’s already made a Wimbledon semis.

Humble Rafa Says:

This morning, I saw a guy carrying a cat in his man purse. Is this a fashion now? Skeeze?

andrea Says:

what is up with the photo that accompanies this piece? roanic cuddling up to a child? creepy.

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