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Cincinnati 2020: Milos Raonic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas preview, head-to-head & prediction | Western & Southern Open

Milos Raonic
Milos Raonic
ANALYST
Modified 28 Aug 2020, 02:30 IST
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Match details

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

Round: Semifinal

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA

Category: ATP Masters 1000

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $4,674,780

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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.

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas

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.

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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

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Milos Raonic
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Milos Raonic

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.

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas
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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.

Published 27 Aug 2020, 14:32 IST
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