Finalist here at Queens Club last year and at Wimbledon all eyes were on Milos Raonic who showed some promising signs in set one seeing 8 break points but failing on all occasions to convert them in what was a very flat and disappointing opening set from the Canadian who didn’t move well at the back of the court with Thanasi Kokkinakis able to send passing shots past him and his net play was ineffective winning 2/5 shots but the three he didn’t win were horrific errors.
The second set continued with the same theme with low key holds of serve with that emphasis and expectation on the Canadian to break serve and find something which has propelled him to the top end of the rankings and a forehand error from the Australian at 3-4 30-30 set up a break point but poor defencive play by Milos sent the game back to deuce trying to use the slice to keep a rally going but benefiting Thanasi more than himself instead of rushing the Australian.
Once again we were treated to a tie-break and once the Canadian found himself up 6-3 it looked like being a formality however Kokkinakis who has recently just returned from a two year injury nightmare had another idea and finished the match with a beautiful backhand down the line knocking out last year’s runner up.
After the O2 finals in London I spoke about the need to win big points for Raonic to become a contender and that is emphasised once again today.
All credit to Thanasi!