Will it be world no. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas or former Grand Slam finalist Milos Raonic who wins through to the…
Will it be world no. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas or former Grand Slam finalist Milos Raonic who wins through to the first Masters 1000 Series final of 2020?
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Tsitsipas vs Raonic is live from New York on Friday 28 August at 1pm local/6pm BST
Fourth-seeded Tsitsipas, the reigning ATP Finals champion, is looking to make the third Masters 1000 Series of his career and launch himself into next week’s US Open in perfect style as he takes on Raonic in Friday’s rescheduled, relocated Cincinnati Masters semifinals – not to mention avenging his Australian Open defeat to the Canadian.
Raonic, who ousted Andy Murray and battled back from the brink of defeat against Filip Krajinovic to reach the final four, will be hoping to make his first Masters 1000 Series final in over four years.
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
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Tsitsipas vs Raonic: Head-to-head
The two have only played once, at the Australian Open in January when Raonic beat Tsitsipas 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(2).
Tsitsipas vs Raonic: Preview
World no. 6 Tsitsipas kept himself busy during the shutdown with pursuits both on-court, where he played the Ultimate Tennis Showdown exhibition series, and off. At the Cincinnati Masters, relocated to New York and the home of the US Open this year, he landed in the quarter of the big servers and has had to beat a succession of very tall men sending down very powerful deliveries: Former US Open and Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson, John Isner and Reilly Opelka, who had knocked out sixth and ninth seeds Matteo Berrettini and Diego Schwartzman but was unable to complete a set against Tsitsipas, retiring trailing 5-6 due to a knee injury.
Tsitsipas should be well prepared, by that succession of opponents, to meet Raonic in Friday’s semifinals (originally scheduled for Thursday, but rescheduled when the tournament ‘paused’ in recognition of the reaction to the shooting of Jacob Blake). In fact, 6’5” Raonic will be his second-shortest opponent of the week.
The Greek player ended 2019 in sensational style by capturing the Nitto ATP Finals title, but his Australian Open campaign was brought to an abrupt end by none other than Raonic with a straight-sets victory in the third round. Tsitsipas had bounced back before the shutdown with a runner-up finish to Novak Djokovic in Dubai and a fifth career title in Marseilles, but there’s no question he would enjoy avenging that Melbourne defeat.
Raonic, like Tsitsipas, has reached multiple Masters 1000 Series finals without (yet) winning one, but not for a while; his last title match at this level came at Indian Wells in 2016, the same year that saw him reach his first and so far only Grand Slam final at Wimbledon. Raonic lost that one to Murray, but the outcome was very different when they met in New York this week, Raonic trouncing Murray 6-2, 6-2.
Raonic slipped out of the top 10 in 2017 and has not returned since, battling with injuries for lengthy periods – he missed multiple Masters 1000 Series events and Grand Slams over the past few seasons – but he remains an incredibly dangerous player, and these fast courts are helping to make his serve lethal. He had to save match point against Krajinovic, but Krajinovic has been playing absurdly well this week.