Milos Raonic has reasons for optimism after NBO tournament ends in Round of 16

TORONTO — For two days Milos Raonic wowed the crowd and surprised himself with an inspired play at the National Bank Open. Offline suddenly as well.

Attempting to make it to the quarterfinals for the first time in a tour-level tournament since 2020, the Canadiens were trailed by American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday afternoon on the middle court at Sobeys Stadium, temporarily halting rain. For 90 minutes, delayed what felt inevitable from the first game. When Raonic opened the game with a two-point win, served from two touches in front of McDonald. who will now play his first quarter-final match at this level – claiming four straight points to destroy his opponents.

From there, a pained expression appeared and murmured angrily. The man chasing after two convincing match wins immediately followed himself as he failed to create any rhythm at all against McDonald. There is a tricky backhand at the net that cannot cross the tape. The cream puff second served for the forehand, Raonic swung wide and even with an overhead slap that placed him on the board he hit off the line.

“It was a tough game,” said Raonic, “just a messy mistake. The first game I was 30-0 up and I think I missed three forehands. [after that]. When you start like that He will feel at ease…”

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A helpful signature serve for Raonic compared to Frances Tiafoe and Taro Daniel at the NBO saw him lose to McDonald. The 32-year-old made just 71 percent of his first serves in the penalty area. and made five mistakes twice, including one ball to finish the first set. against ace nine in which three balls occur consecutively at the end of the second Set when the outcome of the match is really in doubt.

Compare that to McDonald’s, No. 59, which served 87 percent of the first serving. And at one point, he won 12 straight points to open the second set. The 28-year-old made a good point about the difference between the two players’ serve by capping Raonic – three points – with A. C

What was supposed to be an advantage for Raonic turned out to be a complete liability.

“Just not serving as fast as we would like,” said Raonic, who had 37 aces against Tiefo in Round 1 and earned 90 percent of his first serve points against Daniel in Round 2.[I] just need to be better [serving] And I can’t be.

After Raonic beat Daniel on Wednesday, he honestly admitted he didn’t expect to play well in two consecutive matches. After all, this is a guy who missed almost two years of action with Achilles disease. Raonic was disappointed with the mistake that didn’t happen at 32 McDonald’s joints. He said he was safe doing all he could to prepare for the NBO and putting his best shoes forward here.

“I did everything I could. And it got me there,” a calm and content Raonic said after the game. “You can’t ruin the reputation of something two years away from that violence.”

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Maybe things will end a few days before everyone expected. But the first half of the tournament was defined by the excitement emanating from a kid growing up on the streets of Thornhill, Ont. “Let’s go, Mi-los!” chants fueled his prime-time play. Tiafoe’s news on Monday. And he brought that success to a Straight vs. Daniel win two days later. When McDonald broke the final score of the afternoon to end Raonic’s tournament on Thursday. There was a brief moment of mourning before applause broke out and the fans let the only Canadians left in the draw know how much effort they put in.

No wonder the feeling was reciprocating.

“I can only hear the sound,” said Raonic, “and I think that’s probably the most special and lovely thing about these three matches. From Monday night to yesterday to today Through its ups and downs, energy that you can’t measure in any way or you can’t. give it a name I am very grateful for that and [with] All up and down over the months and years. That makes it more and more worthwhile.”

Raonic, a former world No. 3 who reached the 2016 Wimbledon final, arrived at the tournament when asked about the possibility of retiring. It might be a bit too early. But there’s no doubting that Raonic, who is just making his third appearance since returning from injury in June, has been on the receiving end of the season. With so much to prove for himself and tennis, winning twice doesn’t mean that the man who’s competed in the Grand Slams is ready to make a comeback in the elite sport. But it’s a clear step in the right direction. Raonic has not announced he will return to his hometown in 2025, when both men will play in Toronto again. But he certainly doesn’t sound like an athlete looking out at the setting sun. Strong performances in Toronto strengthened the belief in his heart that there was still a lot of competition to be won.

“If everything is fine I will be in the right position. I can prepare myself for playing tennis at a high level,” said Raonic when asked about the gains from the tournament. “I think I can still play at a very high level. This is no different from the way I used to be, which was crazy years ago.”

And for the first time after using Raonic for a long time, you get the feeling that there are still many years to come.

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