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How The Match Was Won: Milos Raonic v Nick Kyrgios

Milos Raonic hits a backhand on No.1 Court
by Michael Beattie
Wednesday 2 July 2014

The key components of Milos Raonic's 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(4)  win over Nick Kyrgios

Faith in your game-plan: Even as Nick Kyrgios edged into a one-set lead, Milos Raonic refused to deviate from a policy of serving to the backhand, keeping the ball deep and low in the rallies and venturing forward when possible. The No.8 seed knew Kyrgios could only stay hot for so long, and while the Australian produced plenty of points for the highlight reel, it was Raonic who was racking up the games.

Take on the serve: Both men came into the match with over 100 aces during The Championships, but Raonic’s sterling serving has been backed up by some bulleted returns. Kyrgios had shown against Nadal what happens to returns that drop into the mid-court so Raonic went for broke whenever possible, stepping forward and accepting that aces and framed returns were acceptable collateral damage.

Been there, done that: And now, a month after his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros, Raonic has won his second. With big-match experience comes big-match temperament, and having acknowledged his ambitions throughout the first week he backed it up with a resolute display.

Silence the support: It may not be the most popular tactic, but Raonic knew as the favourite the crowd were going to get behind an underdog – especially an underdog backed by a vociferous band of loyal Australians. While Kyrgios tried his best to keep himself fired up, Raonic kept his emotions in check as the match turned in his favour and the boisterous cheers turned to appreciative applause.

Chase the aces: There’s no point ignoring the shot that so often brings home the Canadian’s bacon. Raonic hit another 39 to top the ace charts at The Championships – that’s 157 all told en route to the semi-finals, and counting...

Raonic’s path to the semi-finals

First round: beats Matthew Ebden 6-2, 6-4, 6-4

Second round: beats Jack Sock 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Third round: beats Lukasz Kubot 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 6-2

Fourth round: beats Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-3

Quarter-final: beats Nick Kyrgios 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(4)

 

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