Image: Ryan Cowley
All Milos Raonic wanted to do was to put his heartbreaking marathon loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Olympics behind him — and what better way to do that than in front of his hometown fans. That’s just what he did, defeating Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-4 in his opening match at the Rogers Cup yesterday evening.
After missing last year’s edition of the tournament due to injury, the 21-year-old Canuck entered last night’s contest with a lot to prove. With the Canadian fans behind him, you could say that the pressure was on Raonic to win. From watching him, you would have been hard-pressed to find any significant flaws in Milos’ game. He was fleet-of-foot, alert and was able to take advantage of the few mistakes committed by the 26-year-old Serbian.
This victory was just the rebound Milos Raonic needed after his premature exit at the Olympics. If there is a silver lining, it’s that due to the early defeat in London, the 6-foot-5 Raonic had enough time to recuperate from both the loss and possibly the jetlag.
It has been 54 years since a Canadian has won the Rogers Cup and Milos Raonic hopes to put a halt to that drought. The fans at the Rexall Centre certainly got their money’s worth tonight and hope for the same the next time the Canadian phenom takes the court.
Raonic is now onto the third round where he awaits the announcement of his next opponent, which will most likely be Britain’s Andy Murray who is fresh off winning gold in front of his home fans in London. With a start like this, here’s hoping that tennis’ highest-ranked Canadian will give the hometown fans a reason to celebrate right until the end.