ATP Paris Final Preview: Novak Djokovic v Milos Raonic

Djokovic

The final of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Bercy, Paris on Sunday will see Novak Djokovic take on Milos Raonic.  Raonic was first into the final as he continued his superb week with a 6-3 3-6 7-5 victory over Tomas Berdych.  It was a competitive match that came down to who would hold their nerve at the crux of the third set.  It was Berdych who folded at *5-6 in the third set, chucking in two double faults and then losing the next two points on errors as Raonic won through to his second ATP Masters 1000 final.  Raonic came into Paris knowing that he had to better David Ferrer‘s result to qualify for the World Tour Finals.  Milos did that by producing the biggest win of his career with a straight sets victory over Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic had a much more straightforward semi-final match as he eased past a tiring Kei Nishikori, 6-2 6-3 in 62 minutes.  Nishikori finished his quarter-final match with David Ferrer in the early hours of Saturday morning, which was his third three setter in as many days.  It wasn’t a great surprise then that Nishikori was unable to rise to the challenge against Djokovic, who produced a supremely solid performance.  Nishikori struggled on serve, winning just 12% of points on his second serve.  However Kei did produce the shot of the match with an exceptional volley in the penultimate game of the match that was certainly one for the highlights reel.

Djokovic leads the H2H with Raonic 3-0 with all previous matches taking place on clay.  In their two matches this year, Djokovic won 6-7(5) 7-6(4) 6-3 in Rome and 7-5 7-6(4) 6-4 at Roland Garros.  Their match in Rome was a particular highlight with Raonic producing an excellent performance to earn his first set against the world number one.  Raonic will have bundles of confidence and is playing well on this indoor hard court surface.  He’s snapped a winless H2H this week against Federer, but can he do it again playing Djokovic in the final? In my opinion, unlikely.  Djokovic will have all the answers.

Prediction: Djokovic d. Raonic in 2 tight sets

7 thoughts on “ATP Paris Final Preview: Novak Djokovic v Milos Raonic

  1. I’m stunned by how good form Djokovic is in. It’s easily the best he’s looked since probably before Wimbledon even, where he was struggling to close out matches without odd lapses.
    He does seem to struggle with Raonic’s serve but I think he’s got the right balance of defensive and aggressive play in his game at the moment to neutralize Milos fairly easily.

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  2. I only saw bits and pieces but Raonic seemed to have chances and miss them. Novaks form has been impressive this week so it was always going to require an exceptional performance to trouble him. Milos got the job he had to get done this week so well done to both of them.

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    • I think you give Nole too little credit there. Djokovic was getting pretty much every ball no matter where it was put. It’s the best I’ve seen him defend in quite a while. He also seems to have sussed that the key to breaking down Raonic is to keep sending the ball straight back to the body, which jams him up completely and gives him no time to unleash on either his forehand OR his backhand.

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    • I hope he keeps it up. If he’s as good at the year end event as he has been the past two years then he should easily defend enough points to see him stay at #1 until at least March, when he’ll be defending titles at Indian Wells and Miami.

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