ATP London: Unbreakable Milos Raonic advances to first grass court final

Milos Raonic finally seems to have well and truly found his game on the grass. The Canadian powered into his first career grass-court final on Saturday at the Aegon Championships with a straight-sets win over Bernard Tomic. The third continued to dominate on serve, winning 80 percent of his total service points and remained unbroken at the Queen’s Club in the 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Late Break Enough for Raonic

The first eight games of the match were dominated by the servers. Not only were there no break points in the early stages, but neither returner ever had a lead late in a game. Tomic was serving big on his own serve and was refusing to let the Canadian take control of points. However, Raonic was even more dominant on his own serve, with Tomic struggling to get it back into play, let alone start rallies that he could win.

Bernard Tomic lunges for a forehand during his semifinal loss. Photo: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images
Bernard Tomic lunges for a forehand during his semifinal loss. Photo: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

It would be Raonic who had the first half-chance late in the opening set when he raced ahead 0-30 on the Tomic serve at 4-4. Tomic would come back and take a 40-30 lead, but the Canadian would force a deuce. A double fault would give Raonic the first break point of the match, but the third seed netted his return. Another double fault gave the Canadian another break point but his backhand would find the net. A third break point would come and go before he finally drew an error on the fourth to break for a 5-4 lead. The Canadian would hold to love to claim the opening set.

Raonic Hangs On to Advance

Raonic tried to carry the momentum over to the second set, reaching break point in the first game. However, he sliced a backhand long and Tomic would go on to hold. A few games later, the Canadian would bring up two more break points and this time did not have to hit a ball as Tomic would double fault to give the third seed a break lead at 3-2.

Raonic hits a backhand volley during his semifinal win. Photo: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images
Raonic hits a backhand volley during his semifinal win. Photo: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

With the way Raonic was serving, the break seemed to be a death sentence for the Aussie. At 3-4, he would battle to a break point at 30-40, only to return the Canadian’s serve into the net. An ace and a textbook serve-and-volley put Raonic within a game of the final. Serving for the match, powered over the finish line, pounding a couple of huge serves and ripping a forehand winner to book his place in the final.

By the Numbers

It was a typical day at the office for the Canadian, hitting 12 aces and winning 88 percent of his first serve points. He would only lose 10 points on serve in total in the match. He crushed 30 winners and only surrendered 9 unforced errors. He saved the lone break point he faced and is still yet to be broken this week. His net assault was also effective, as he won 14 of 21 points at the net. Two breaks, one in each set, was enough to seal the victory.

In the final, he will take on four-time champion Andy Murray.

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