Murray backhand could be the key to success against Raonic

Milos Raonic is a man on a mission and his mission is to the very top of the game and this season the Canadian has been outstanding. His season started off with a faultless performance against Roger Federer in the final of Brisbane which I wrote about below.

Analysis – Raonic Stuns Federer in Brisbane

Milos has continued this form in Melbourne and standing in his way of his first Grand Slam final is Andy Murray. Andy has had a lot going on in Melbourne with Kim expecting soon and of course Kim’s Dad Nigel Sears falling ill at the Australian Open but the British number one has been solid and composed as he goes in search for his first major in Australia. Being British and an Andy Murray I’d obviously picked Andy to win but I don’t feel as confident and that is all to do with the way Milos is playing right now!

I think the Canadian has taken his game to the next level. His movement is getting better and his approach play at the net was a feature against Federer as well as Milos running around the backhand to play a forehand either up the line or cross court pulling Federer around the court.

An aspect of Murray’s game which is going to have to be spot on is the backhand. I think the two hander is an exceptional shot, he pulls his shoulders in and doesn’t need much swing to produce a great angle or power on the shot but something you need against Raonic is depth.

murray bh to milos bh corner fh

Murray’s backhand is one of his strong points in his game from a standing position he can push it down the line or cross court as shown above but I mentioned depth.

I think cross court is the best option although you are attacking the backhand corner of Raonic and like he did against Roger he will want to run around that backhand to play the forehand giving him a wide range of angles. He can achieve this if the backhand from Murray is short as it gives him time but if Murray’s backhand is on form, powerful and deep in the court it can cause issues for Milos who may be forced to go to the two hander the weaker of the two shots. Failing that Murray can flick the backhand up the line and as we have seen many times in the past the Brit is one of the best at the net.

Their head to head is at 50/50 with both recording 3 wins against the other with Murray winning their last two meetings. I’m excited but nervous for the match. It’s a really tough one to call…

Please make sure you do check out my piece on Raonic’ win v Federer in Brisbane and if you fancy voting for your winner check out my Twitter @IainFordyce for a poll on the match 😀

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