Citi Open Final Preview: Milos Raonic Vs Vasek Pospisil
The ATP 500 Citi Open will host the first ever all-Canadian contest in an ATP Final. The tennis review previews this historic match and predicts the likely winner.
Head to head: Raonic leads the head to head 1-0. That match was at the Canadian Open 2013, and was a real battle, with Raonic coming through 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4).
Experience: This is Pospisil’s first final on the ATP Tour. The 24 year old is no stranger to big titles, though, just not in singles- Pospisil is the 2014 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Doubles Champion along with Jack Sock. That should make his first singles final somewhat easier to handle. And he has been to the semis of an ATP 1000 event before so has the nerves for the big events.
Raonic is the world no.7, has won 5 titles and been runner-up at an ATP 1000 event. He has also made the last eight of the French Open this year, and the last four at Wimbledon, his deepest runs in slams. Raonic has proved he is the better singles player of the two the last year, now he has to prove it on final’s day.
Route to the final: Raonic is the number two seed and has cruised through his draw, saving his best for the business end of sets, winning five tiebreaks, in his four straight set wins over the likes of Sock, Hewitt, Johnson and Young.
Pospisil, as the 13th seed, has had the much tougher draw. He upset Tomas Berdych in the third round for the loss of just six games and came back from 0-3 down in the third in his semi-final against Richard Gasquet, the same day as winning the one set shoot out of his previous day’s rain interrupted quarter-final. Pospisil is match tough, is in the best form of his singles career, but just how much will he have left in the tank?
Match-up: Their contest last year in Montreal shows they are a close match-up. Both men have huge serves, with Raonic’s being the more powerful weapon. His second serve is arguably the best in the top ten and if it holds up, he will be almost impossible to break. Both men play offensive tennis, will serve big and look for the short return. In back court rallies, Pospisil has the bigger forehand while Raonic has the better overall game, much improved the last 12 months. However, do not expect many rallies. Both men will be looking to move forward to finish the point mid-court or at the net, where they both excel, with Pospisil the better equipped of the two, with the finer touch.
Mental game: Both men will be high on confidence, and Raonic has the edge of winning their last match on hard and in such close fashion. Raonic also has the confidence of more experience in finals and big singles matches. But, as Pospisil has shown this event, he will not be awed by Raonic nor the occasion.
Prediction: This match will go down to the wire and Pospisil will take it. He is supremely fit, looks very hungry and is in his best form ever.
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