Milos Raonic Qualifies for the World Tour FInals

From LastWordOnTennis, by Jason Fernandes.

Starting with a fine win over Roger Federer in the Brisbane Final, 2016 has been a great year for Canadian Milos Raonic. He’s been an Australian Open semi-finalist, Indian Wells finalist, and most importantly of all a Wimbledon finalist. To end the season the World #6, he finds himself part of the elite eight at the World Tour Finals in London to cap off what has been his best season on tour.

So far as it stands only three of the other seven spots have been accounted for; those are the Australian Open and Roland Garros champion Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, and last month’s US Open winner Stan Wawrinka. No real surprise given those three men won all four of the biggest events in tennis this year. In fact there was only one place in a Grand Slam final not occupied by any of them this year, and that was taken by Raonic at Wimbledon.

Despite the great results, however, one of the main reasons the Canadian has secured his place in London is due to consistency. Over the course of the first seven Masters events this year, the huge server has found himself with only one loss before the quarter-finals, a second round loss while injured to Nick Kyrgios in Rome. Outside of that it’s been four quarter-finals, one semi-final and one final. No other player on tour has made the last eight as many times as he has in Masters events in 2016.

Despite all the consistency and great results, however, it’s amazing to think all of this has been achieved in a year where he’s faced injury troubles from the very beginning. While leading 2 sets to 1 in his semi-final at the Australian Open against Andy Murray in January, his groin started bothering him, stopping him from reaching his first Major final in Melbourne. Unfortunately, since then injuries have been a recurring on and off issue with the Canadian; yesterday he withdrew from his Beijing semifinal match against Grigor Dimitrov due to rolling his ankle in the previous round. As it stands he is still due to play in Shanghai this week but I’m sure he would have loved to have at least given himself a chance at a 2nd title of the year in Beijing.

Assuming the Canadian is fit and ready to play in London, it will mark his second appearance at the event. Sadly for him, the first time around didn’t go so well–not winning a set in either of his first two matches against Federer and Murray, and then having to withdraw with a quad injury before his final group match against Japanese star Kei Nishikori, who is also hopeful of making the event.

This year is a big chance for Milos Raonic to make up for his 2014 showing and make his season even more impressive; there’s no doubt if healthy and fit he has the game to shine at the biggest indoor event tennis has ever had. An astonishing 1.8 million fans have attended the tournament since it was moved from Shanghai to London seven years ago, so if there’s any place to produce your best tennis outside of the Slams, it’s there!

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