(6) Milos Raonic (CAN) vs (2) Andy Murray (GBR)
The men’s draw this year has produced some fantastic tennis. There has been no shortage of drama with plenty of bad weather, 5-set marathons and some big upsets that have unexpectedly shaken up the draw. This year we see a grand slam final debutant in Milos Raonic taking on a former champion in Andy Murray.
Murray has been the hot favourite to win the tournament since the shock third round exit of defending champion Novak Djokovic. Aside from the one tight match against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Murray has been relatively untroubled on his path to the final. For the first time in a grand slam final, Murray doesn’t have to worry about either Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer being at the other side of the net.
Milos Raonic has been threatening to break through to the last match of a major for the past 3 seasons and finally has his chance for grand slam glory tonight. The big Canadian possesses probably the most destructive serve in the game and he has backed this up with some big groundstrokes and wonderful attacking play at the net over the past fortnight. Tonight’s match is a rematch of the final at Queens Club last month which Murray took out in 3 tight sets. These two also faced off in the semi-finals of the Australian Open this year with Murray prevailing in a marathon 5-setter.
How Milos Raonic will win…
Raonic will need to go after Murray’s second serve and put the pressure on him as early in the point as possible. It’s probably the weakest shot in Murray’s arsenal and he is known to have been suspect under pressure on his second serve in the past. Raonic will want to keep the points short and if he can have some success in making a dent into Murray’s service points early, it could prove very troublesome for the Scot. We know that Raonic will probably hold a majority of his service games and he was terrific when serving under pressure during big moments in the semi-final against Federer. It will be crucial for him to put the pressure on Murray’s serve as much as possible and try and get some service breaks and not rely on his powerful serve alone.How Andy Murray will win…
Along with Djokovic, Murray possesses arguably the best return of serve in the game. He will need it to be on song with Raonic sure to send down plenty of aces and unreturnable serves. If Murray can get himself into the point on return of service, he will look to dictate points from the baseline and won’t have an issue with partaking in long rallies. Raonic is a big man and doesn’t possess the same court speed and agility that Murray does so don’t be surprised to see Murray try to move Raonic around the court and wear him down over the duration of the match.
Murray has had a dream run at this year’s tournament without having to play either Djokovic or Federer. Raonic undoubtedly poses his toughest challenge at this year’s tournament tonight. I am expecting a very tight match that will have plenty of momentum swings throughout. Whilst Raonic went the distance against Federer over 5 sets, Federer plays a very different game to Murray. Andy is one of the fittest men on tour and he won’t have an issue slugging it out over a lengthy match with some long taxing rallies. The only way I can see Raonic winning is by having a big day out on serve, however I think Murray’s return will be too good to let that happen, especially in front of his home crowd.
Murray in 5 sets.