Fixture: Milos Raonic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Date: 28 August 2020
Note: All Cincinnati Masters semifinals have been postponed by a day as a part of the "collective stance against racial inequality and social injustice" announced by the Western & Southern Open authorities on Thursday, 27 August.
Tournament: Western & Southern Open 2020
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $4,674,780
Match timing: 1 pm EDT, 10.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Sony Ten 2
Milos Raonic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas preview
The Next Gen stars have endured a rather dismal 2020 Western & Southern Open; all have them have been knocked out before the semifinals, with the solitary exception of Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Greek has shown a stark improvement in dealing with one of his weaknesses - big servers - this week, having beaten Kevin Anderson, John Isner and Reilly Opelka in succession. He will hope to continue the trend in his semifinal match against yet another big server - Milos Raonic.
Raonic on his part has displayed some exemplary tennis since the resumption of the tour. What makes his run particularly impressive is that the Canadian hadn’t played any tennis since February, and had been trolled by a lot of fans during the lockdown for his apparent weight gain.
That said, Raonic's form prior to the COVID-19 induced shutdown was pretty good already. He had reached the last eight of the Australian Open, where he lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
This week, Raonic has beaten the likes of Sam Querrey, Dan Evans and a resurgent Andy Murray in straight sets. In the quarterfinals he faced a tougher fight from Filip Krajinovic, but he saved a match point and went on to complete a 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 win.
Milos Raonic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas head-to-head
Milos Raonic leads Stefanos Tsitsipas 1-0 in the head-to-head. The pair faced each other in the third round of the Australian Open this year, with the Canadian winning 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (2).
Milos Raonic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas prediction
The Greek has adopted a rather effective tactic against all the big servers he has faced this week. He’s using a lot more sliced and block returns off the backhand, making sure he gets a majority of them back in play.
Tsitsipas has also been more consistent with his second serve returns, off both wings. By starting so many return points in a neutral position, the Greek has been able to bring his baseline prowess into play and run his tall opponents ragged.
However, Milos Raonic has an arguably more well-rounded game than both Isner and Opelka. His serve is famously lethal, but his forehand is nothing short of exceptional either. Both of these shots got him out of jail several times against Krajinovic.
Tsitsipas will be the toughest test for the Canadian so far, as the Greek can trouble him from the ground with his immense variety. Raonic will have to display a bit more accuracy on his serve than what he did against Krajinovic, because Tsitsipas can capitalize on the smallest of openings.
Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in three sets.