January and the Australian Open may have been about the achievements of Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic but also some shouting about what Milos Raonic and Lucas Pouille.
Milos Raonic has had a tough time, a couple of Wimbledon finals to his name but injuries have not helped over the last couple of years but I think he deserves great credit for his performances in Melbourne.
Wins against Kyrgios, Wawrinka, Herbert and Zverev really did start up the conversation again about his chances for the season and where the year could take him. Not only were the wins impressive on paper but the performances were exceptional and looking back and the improvement now especially with how he conducts himself on the baseline and also coming to the net.
I like Raonic, I have been critical in the past but I see talent and I do think the only thing that can let him down tennis wise is his movement but he can channel his game into being effective without nessecarily having to run around.
Hired Amelie Mauresmo and could you ask for a better start? Lucas said it doesn’t matter if she’s a woman, she’s a champion and she knows the sport probably better than most and that what matters.
I remember the first time I watched Lucas play and it was in 2015 at Monte Carlo. I didn’t see his win against Dominic Thiem in the first round but I watched him play Nadal and he gave everything he had available in those first 3/4 games and after that Nadal got into gear and steamrolled to 6-2 6-1.
I think sometimes matches and defeats like these are great for learning because it shows you can’t just 100% from the off and hope to hit someone off the court it is essentially finding what works like a puzzle.
In 2016 he had a good year with 5 top 10 win’s but hasn’t had one since despite obviously making the semi-finals in Melbourne but I saw in his game at Melbourne Park what I saw Mauresmo help Murray with and that is game management.
Tennis isn’t about just hitting the other player off the court, like I said you build a picture and this is what has happened.
I do hope we now see this continue from both players, it is a long season but this unexpectedly good start is what they needed.