As a contest it was very good but for Milos Raonic it goes down as another defeat for the Canadian against Novak Djokovic and to be honest there wasn’t too much in it but in these big moments the big points are magnified as a dodgy serve or a short forehand could be the difference between holding and dropping serve and losing the match.
We saw plenty of big points in this one. Novak did a great job in saving break points in set one and both were solid on serve when it mattered to keep their service games ticking over and then in the tie-break you see a big moment.
At 5-5 Djokovic plays an outrageous lob shot which Raonic managed to clip with his racket but not enough to send it back over the net, now Djokovic has set point. Big point. Another big point a few moments later at 7-6 to Djokovic and quite incredibly Raonic double faults for the first time in the match. How one point can change the momentum. Novak takes the set and quickly goes up a break in set two.
Big point. Raonic had set point, at 5-6 30-40 and Novak was on second serve, went after it to the backhand and Raonic played it perfectly until the end the forehand down the line was on and he hit the net! Djokovic went on to hold serve…
At the end of the first set when Novak won on a double fault from Milos you see the defending champion looking towards his camp and importantly accross the net to Milos and throughout the walk to the seat for the sit-down Djokovic has the fist pump going, he means business and he’s letting us all know. Big point.
Novak Djokovic did something brave but he flirted with disaster and teased the Canadian time and time again going crosscourt with that forehand into the forehand of Milos but didn’t seem in a rush to cover the forehand up the line which he left open quite a bit for the Canadian but on the run dealing with a fast Djokovic forehand it is tough to redirect it with such accuracy and we saw a lot of forehands into the net or one’s going long.
We know Milos likes to meditate during matches at the changeover but we saw a much calmer Djokovic today with his spiritual guru Pepe Imaz courtside for Tuesday evening’s match and it looked to certainly help him as he ended the evening top of the group.