Match Recap, Monte-Carlo QF: Wawrinka d. Raonic, 7-6(5) 6-2

Raonic

Milos Raonic

Stanislas Wawrinka produced another fine performance in Monte-Carlo as he defeated Milos Raonic, 7-6(5) 6-2 to move into the last four.  There was nothing to call between the pair in the first set with no break point opportunities.  Raonic led in the first set tiebreak, 3-0 and 5-3, but it was Wawrinka who managed to come through.  I have always felt that Raonic is a tad overrated, but I was quite impressed with his performance in the first set.  Aside from his huge booming serve, he was coming into the net and most of the time, picking the right balls to come in behind.  He’s also not a bad mover on the clay considering his height.

However, mentally he is not yet reliable on the big points.  Raonic got unlucky with a Wawrinka shot clipping the net at 5-4 in the first set TB, but then he found the net on a crucial point at 5-5.  Raonic had two serves to wrap up the first set tiebreak, but was unable to find a first serve on either.

Raonic didn’t appear to recover mentally in the second set as Wawrinka, solid as a rock, broke the Canadian’s serve twice to roll through the second set and post the win in 90 minutes.  Wawrinka played a really smart match and I liked how he frequently went behind Raonic.  On a clay court, Wawrinka is pretty delightful and I could watch him all day.  There were a few fantastic backhands notably the backhand pass in the first set tiebreak that provided us with a Stanley roar.  Overall, this was a good tournament for Raonic who has made quarter-finals of Indian Wells, Miami and now Monte-Carlo.  The most significant thing for me though is he has yet to have that really notable breakthrough and a really big win on tour. Wawrinka will now meet Rafael Nadal or David Ferrer in the quarter-finals.  A Wawrinka-Nadal semi-final would be absoultely fascinating…

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