In Their Shoes: Milos Raonic challenges himself on and off the court

by: | May 04, 2021

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From holding match point against No. 10-ranked Fernando Gonzalez in his first ATP match as an 18-year-old in Montréal in 2009 to reaching his 23rd career ATP final at the Masters 1000 in New York last summer, Milos Raonic has been a major threat since he debuted on tour over a decade ago.

The big-serving Canadian’s staying power with the top ranks of the sport can be attributed to his drive and his work ethic, which sees him training from morning until night—on and off the court.

“One thing that viewers miss is how much really goes into a player being able to compete at their best level, week in and week out,” the 30-year-old says. “Different surfaces, different conditions, different balls, different altitudes—I think all those kind of factors, when they come in together, it really takes a lot from a player. And I think by seeing this, they can really have a greater appreciation for it.”

Raonic’s career is historic: in November 2016, a few months after reaching his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon, he rose to No. 3 on the ATP rankings, making him the highest-ranked Canadian in either ATP or WTA rankings history. Bianca Andreescu has come the closest to matching that feat, getting to No. 4.

And while Raonic is constantly working on his game to keep up with the ever-improving level of the sport, he’s also been growing his appreciation for the world outside the lines of the tennis court.

“There have been many years that I’ve sort of just let pass by in great cities without really challenging myself to explore and see a lot of the great things that different cultures, cities and atmospheres have to offer,” he says. “I think that’s something that I’ve become very conscious and aware of.”

Though his career-defining result came at Wimbledon, Raonic is a threat at all four of the Grand Slams. He’s been to the quarterfinals or better 10 times at majors—five times at the Australian Open, four times at the All England Club and once at the French Open. And though he’s never been to the quarterfinals of the US Open, it’s only a matter of time—he’s been to the round of 16 four times.

With two majors right around the corner, Raonic may be on the verge of another career-defining moment.

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