'O Canada' Set To Ring Out At Flushing Meadows

Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/AP
Milos Raonic has been in fine form over the US hardcourt season. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au/AP
One of Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic will progress beyond the fourth round of the US Open for the first time this year when they face off in a round of 16 clash on Tuesday morning (AEST). Amazingly for a player of his ability and longevity on tour, Gasquet has only made it past this stage once at a Grand Slam, and that was when he reached the semis at Wimbledon in 2007. Raonic is looking for his first appearance in the final eight of a major after losing to eventual champion Andy Murray at this stage of last year’s event at Flushing Meadows.

Both men have been relatively untroubled in the opening rounds, although both dropped a set in their third round clashes; Gasquet to 32nd seed Dmitry Tursunov – who had to retire hurt in the fourth set – while Raonic dropped the opening set in his match-up with 23rd seed Feliciano Lopez.

Raonic came in to the event in arguably the best form of his career after reaching the final of his home country’s Masters event in Montreal, where he was downed in straight sets by Rafael Nadal in the decider. He knocked off Juan Martin Del Porto along the way there, and also beat Janko Tipsarevic in Cincinnati a fortnight back. Both men went down to big-serving John Isner in Cinci; the American went on to reach the final before also going down to Nadal.

This pair has met just once before, and that was in the 2012 Masters event in Cincinnati. Raonic was the victor on that occasion winning 7-6 6-3 . While he produces some of the most amazing tennis you’ll see on tour and has an all-court game which is probably only second to Federer in men’s tennis, Gasquet’s return of serve is one of the weaker parts of his game, and in the past he has had issues dealing with power players. Raonic smacked down 28 aces against Lopez and won 87% of points on his first serve, so if he can get his first ball in to play more often than not, Gasquet will really struggle to get the upper hand.

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