Rob Soria is the Edmonton Oilers' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rob was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Oilers blog - OilDrop.ca. He has been a dedicated follower of the game and its history for years but his focus remains on his hometown Edmonton Oilers. If you have questions or wish to contact Rob, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
2012 US Open - Murray takes Raonic to school in straight sets victory
By Rob Soria
In what could have been a possible coming out party for Canadian Milos Raonic, instead turned into another dominating performance from Olympic Gold medalist Andy Murray. The number three seed made quick work of Raonic in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, to advance into the quarter-finals at the 2012 US Open.
Edmonton - September 3, 2012 - So much for trying to leave your mark. In what could have been a possible coming out party for Canadian Milos Raonic, instead turned into another dominating performance from Olympic Gold medalist Andy Murray. The number three seed made quick work of Raonic, easily dismissing the fifteenth seed in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, to advance into the quarter-finals at the 2012 US Open.
Heading into the feature match of Monday night's evening draw at Arthur Ashe Stadium, there seemed to be a certain buzz around Raonic possibly giving Murray a tough match in their Round of Sixteen battle. Unfortunately for the young Canadian, it did not take the four time Grand Slam finalist long to seize the moment and simply impose his will on the over matched youngster.
In an opening set that was on serve at 4-4, Raonic was serving for a 5-4 lead but he did what he typically does at crunch time...become unglued. A few unforced errors later, Murray had himself break and moments later, the opening set. In a set which Milos nearly had twice as many winners as his opponent, it was his 11 unforced errors, compared to Murray's 2, that was ultimately the difference. From that point on, the Scot started to take complete control.
Raonic continued to struggle with his return of serve, winning only nine points in the first two sets, while Murray started reading the big man's serve, seemingly getting his racquet on almost any ball sent his way. After saving a couple of early break points, a missed volley and another unforced error would give Murray an early break at 3-2, which he easily carried out to another 6-4 score.
Try as he might, Milos could do nothing to slow down Ivan Lendl's pupil. Everything the youngster sent his way, Murray had an answer for and did so with hardly breaking a sweat. He pulled nearly every shot out of his bag tricks and showed the 21 year old one different look after another, too which he had no answer for.
To his credit, Raonic did not fold like a cheap suit when it was apparent that it was not his night. Instead he tried mixing things up, by using the serve and volley to his advantage. Again, it did not take long for Murray to adjust and find the answer but at least he was trying something different. In the end, Murray was just to good but the best player in Canadian tennis history, never quit and fought to the end.
While Raonic continues his steady climb up the ATP rankings, his challenges remain the same. His foot work isn't great, his return of serve is poor and he lacks in confidence at crucial moments in matches. That being said, his serve allows him a chance to stay in every single match he plays, his forehand can be absolutely lethal at times and he isn't too shabby at the net, for a guy who stands 6'5" tall.
With that being the case, lets hope his camp use the tape of his performance against Andy Murray as a learning tool to help him with his overall game. In all honesty, despite being defeated falling as easily as he did, there were some positives to take away from this match. Now the question becomes, will Milos learn from it? Only time will tell but at some point he has to start making adjustments to his game and now would be as good a time as any.
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