Milos Raonic’s revival in Canada may be a brief and glorious finale
Milos Raonic delighted
A happy Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic continued his resurgence in front of his adoring Canadian public, as he followed up his upset of Frances Tiafoe by seeing off qualifier Taro Daniel 6-4, 6-3.

The former Wimbledon finalist did not compete between July 2021 and this June because of injuries and is unsure what the future holds but he has made it back-to-back victories at the Canadian Masters event for the first time in seven years.

It is a glimpse of what could have been for Raonic if a shoulder issue had not derailed his ambitions in recent years, with the 2016 Wimbledon finalist enjoying his rival in front of his Canadian fans.

There are suggestions that despite his impressive service display in Toronto, Raonic’s injury problems remain an obstacle to any hope of a long-term revival at the top of the game and he admits the pressure to win matches in this tournament is pressing as he knows there may not be many more chances for him to shine on the game’s biggest stages.

“Nerves are a good thing. It keeps you sharp. It keeps you anxious. Makes you want to work through things,” stated Raonic.

“You know, your first kind of thought process is, okay, I want to go out there and play a good match. I know I have a very difficult opponent. I don’t know how many times I get to do this again. All these kind of things.

“So you kind of feel, like, the clock kind of ticking against you, but then also that eagerness to be able to produce something to be proud of. Like, all those things kind of cross your mind.

“The beauty of it is once you start competing, I think that goes away pretty quickly and it becomes a focus on the immediate challenges and difficulties you’re trying to get through point by point.

“There’s a lot of things that make me nervous. I think it would be hard for me — I think it’s a good thing, because I don’t think I would enjoy it if it didn’t, because it just means that it means something to me.”

He next faces American Mackenzie McDonald, who knocked out sixth seed Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-3, while second seed Daniil Medvedev is safely through after a 6-2 7-5 win over Matteo Arnaldi.

Meanwhile, Gael Monfils stunned Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the third round of the National Bank Open in Toronto.

The flamboyant former top-10 star has struggled with injuries over the past year and is ranked down at 276 but showed he still possesses the skills to trouble the very best with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over fourth seed Tsitsipas.

The Greek, who won a title in Mexico last weekend, made a lot of mistakes, particularly on his forehand wing, but Monfils, three weeks short of his 37th birthday, was excellent in defence and attack.

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