ATP Delray Beach Final Preview: Milos Raonic vs Jack Sock

ATP Delray Beach Final Preview: Milos Raonic vs Jack Sock

The North American rivals battle for the championship in the silver anniversary edition of the event in Florida.

john-lupo
John Lupo

Top seed Milos Raonic faces third seed Jack Sock in the finals of the Delray Beach Tennis Championships. Sock is seeking his second title of the season, having previously won in Auckland while Raonic is in his first final since losing to Andy Murray at Wimbledon last year.

Raonic's path to the final

The Canadian has lost just one set in the tournament to Kyle Edmund in the quarterfinals. Before that, he defeated Tim Smyczek 6-1, 6-4 in the first round, Borna Coric 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the second round and following the victory over Edmund, Raonic took out seventh seed and 2011 champion Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 7-6 (6).

Raonic came through a heavyweight semifinal against Juan Martin Del Potro to reach the final/Photo: Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
Raonic came through a heavyweight semifinal against Juan Martin Del Potro to reach the final/Photo: Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Sock's path to the final

Sock has looked solid all week, not yielding a set in the tournament so far. He began with a 6-4, 7-6 (2) win over Moldovan Radu Albot, followed by a 6-4, 6-1 thumping of Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. The quarterfinals saw Sock take out  Olympic doubles partner Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-6 (4) followed by another win over an American, Donald Young 6-3, 7-6 (2) in the semifinals.

Sock has had a fairly easy path to the final/Photo: Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
Sock has had a fairly easy path to the final/Photo: Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Head-to-head

Raonic has dominated this matchup, winning eight of the previous ten meetings, but Sock their last encounter at last year's Shanghai Rolex Masters by a 0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8) scoreline.

Who will win the championship?

Both players are in good form, having looked strong throughout the tournament. Raonic has the bigger weapons with his serve and forehand, but Sock has the confidence of winning their last match in Shanghai.

Although the Canadian has a significant edge in their head-to-head record, many of those matches have been close. Three of Raonic's wins have resulted in third set tiebreaks while two other wins were decided by second set breakers. 

Sock is sure to have the home support and his hard court form has been excellent all year. For him to grab the championship, he'll need to hold his own serve and use his backhand to try and neutralize Raonic's powerful attack.

While a victory either way would be no surprise, Raonic is certain to have gained a major amount of confidence after defeating Del Potro last night and he's had the tougher draw, serving him well in a situation like this. He'll do just enough to win yet another close match against Sock in what is turning into an excellent rivalry.

Prediction: Raonic in three sets

 

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