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Raonic vs Struff tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Raonic can make fifth Indian Wells Masters quarterfinal

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 13 Mar 2019
  • Milos Raonic faces Jan-Lennard Struff in the fourth round of the Indian Wells Masters
  • Raonic vs Struff is live from Indian Wells on Wednesday at 12.30pm local/7.30pm GMT
Milos Raonic (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Milos Raonic aims to make his fifth Indian Wells Masters quarterfinal in a row as he takes on Jan-Lennard Struff in a big-serving duel on Wednesday.

Jan-Lennard Struff caused a big upset when he shocked third seed Alexander Zverev at the Indian Wells Masters – can former runner-up Milos Raonic avoid the same fate?

Raonic had to score a comeback victory over Marcos Giron (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Raonic has an excellent record at Indian Wells, where he reached the third Masters 1000 Series final of his career when he finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2016 (admittedly losing the quickest final in the tournament’s history), and the Canadian clearly flourishes in these conditions – he missed the tournament in 2017 due to injury, but on every one of his last four appearances he has made the quarterfinals or better, reaching the semifinals in 2015 and 2018 and losing to Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro respectively.

After a 2018 season which saw the former top-five player and Wimbledon finalist drop as low as world no. 38 while he struggled with the aftermath of some nagging injuries, Raonic got off to a good start in 2019, putting together an impressive run to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open – impressive because he had to beat Nick Kyrgios, Stan Wawrinka and Alexander Zverev to do it and make the ninth Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career, although he lost quite limply to Lucas Pouille when he got there – but has struggled since, going 1-2 in February with defeats to Stan Wawrinka in Rotterdam and Struff himself in Dubai.

Arriving at Indian Wells with a new coach, having ended his collaboration with Goran Ivanisevic in favour of working with Fabrice Santoro who also coaches Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Raonic had a good opening win against Sam Querrey, but the 13th seed had a much tougher time against a much less heralded opponent, qualifier Marcos Giron, in the third round. World no. 217 Giron, a former college player who won the Orlando Challenger to start the year and had beaten Jeremy Chardy and 23rd seed Alex de Minaur to reach the third round, looked positively miniature across the net from Raonic despite an official height of 5’11”, but played some absolutely brilliant tennis against an out-of-form Raonic who seemed to be struggling for rhythm on his serve for long patches. Giron not only won the first set, but built a 4-1 lead in the third set before Raonic broke back with a forehand passing shot winner on his fourth break point of the game and won the last five games of the match to squeak through, ending with 22 aces in the 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

‘I knew he could play really well. I think I created a lot of chances and a few maybe I didn't take the way I would have liked. But he also stepped up well on his chances,’ Raonic said. 

‘He came up with the goods and definitely pushed me sort of to the brink there where I was getting a little bit frustrated. I just kept trying to plug away.’

Raonic’s reward for perseverance is a chance to avenge his Dubai defeat to Struff – and as the only seeded player left in his quarter, with the quarterfinal to be played against either Filip Krajinovic or Miomir Kecmanovic, it’s a golden opportunity to make another Indian Wells semifinal.

Jan-Lennard Struff (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Having recently lost to the German player is not the only warning to Raonic not to be complacent, however – Struff is also coming off the joint-biggest win of his career, having eliminated third seed Zverev from the tournament in straight sets.

Zverev had told the media before the match that he had been sick for much of the first week of Indian Wells, and the world no. 3 looked pale and drawn as he faced Struff, as well as playing pretty badly. But it was still a great win for Struff, who had lost all five of his previous encounters with Zverev and never gave his compatriot too much of an opportunity to find his feet or get back into the match once Struff took the lead.

It was a great win for Struff, who had beaten a world no. 3-ranked player once before when he ousted Wawrinka from the Paris Masters in 2016, and is currently not too far off his career-high ranking of world no. 44 from May 2017.

The German, who made three ATP Tour quarterfinals in 2018 as well as the third round of Wimbledon when he beat Ivo Karlovic 13-11 in the fifth set, made the semifinals of Auckland in January, beating Pablo Carreno Busta on the way, and scored the aforementioned victory over Raonic in Dubai before losing to Marton Fucsovics. So far at Indian Wells, he’s beaten Australia’s John Millman and lucky loser Ricardas Berankis in three sets before getting his big win over Zverev.

Perhaps the knee problem Raonic suffered at the Australian Open contributed to his Dubai loss to Struff, because I do think that Raonic should be quite able to beat Struff, who has a big serve but doesn’t really do a lot of things that would seem particularly bothersome to Raonic, who won their only other meeting in straight sets at Wimbledon in 2017. The conditions in Indian Wells might suit Struff, but they are obviously very comfortable for Raonic given his record. The Canadian didn’t play well against Giron, but he survived and was good enough when it counted, and he has such a golden opportunity to reach another semifinal at Indian Wells. Surely he won’t waste it by losing to Struff in the fourth round.

Raonic vs Struff Indian Wells Masters tennis is live from Indian Wells on Wednesday at 12.30pm local/11.30am GMT

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Raonic vs Struff tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Raonic can make fifth Indian Wells Masters quarterfinal

Milos Raonic vs Jan-Lennard Struff live streaming, preview and predictions for the Indian Wells Masters fourth-round match on Wednesday 13 March: Raonic must avenge Dubai defeat to Struff, who ousted third seed Alexander Zverev, to make the quarterfinals once more

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