After the World Tour Finals in London I wrote about Milos Raonic going from a contender to a winner and something that needs to improve for this to happen and that was his conversion on big points. Set points v Novak and big points during rallies and of course match point against Andy Murray were all examples of where the Canadian fell short and two months later I find myself talking about the same thing after crashing out of the Australian Open against Rafael Nadal in three sets.
In set one and three Raonic failed to even find a break point opportunity and in even in set two found some but couldn’t capitalise on the four that he found but in set two did have 6 set points and couldn’t find a way through. Big points once again…
The big point I want to focus on is in the tie-break at 6-5 Milos has set point and has a first serve…
Screenshot credit to British Eurosport
One of the serves that Milos uses a lot when down break point is the serve into the body especially on the deuce side locking his opponents movement to returning with interest. However today Milos was up set point and serving on the Ad side which favours him move but went down the T. You can see on the graphic that Milos’ serve on the Ad side into the body is 86% which isn’t bad but Milos was up set point.
Going for the body serve on first serve set point up says to me he wants this set over but to go for it on second serve as well and hit a double fault is just careless especially on the Ad side, Milos should be looking for that big kicker out wide or down the T on first serve and for some reason treated it like a nervy breakpoint and it cost him.
Overall he played a good match but it’s about winning and winning those big points and Rafael Nadal won the big points at the big moments where as Raonic faltered on a number of occasions on the big stage.