In a battle of neighboring countries, USA’s Sam Querrey will take on Canada’s Milos Raonic to begin his 2020 Western & Southern Open campaign. Both players will feel a little hard done by the draw given their considerably high singles rankings of 45 and 30 respectively.
Nevertheless, Milos Raonic and Sam Querrey will both look to come out all guns blazing. Doing well at the Cincinnati Masters, to be held in New York this year, will be a big boost to their confidence ahead of a grueling ATP calendar.
Raonic will be looking to replicate his rousing performance from this year’s Australian Open, where he made the last eight. He had beaten the likes of Marin Cilic and Stefanos Tsitsipas in Melbourne before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
On paper, this match-up is stacked heavily in favor of Milos Raonic considering his superior weapons and strong record at big tournaments. However, it will be far from an easy contest for the Canadian given that he hasn’t played any tennis since February.
Sam Querrey on the other hand took part in a few exhibition matches last month, and as such could be in better touch.
Milos Raonic vs Sam Querrey head-to-head
Milos Raonic leads Sam Querrey 4-2 in the head-to-head. While the American has beaten Raonic twice in his career, he hasn’t been able to do so since 2012.
The last time the duo played each other was at the 2019 Indian Wells Masters, where Raonic won in straight sets (7-6, 6-4).
Milos Raonic vs Sam Querrey prediction
When in form, Milos Raonic has arguably the most devastating right arm in tennis. On his day, the Canadian has even troubled the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with his gigantic serve.
However, Raonic's game is known to be error off the ground, and Sam Querrey could make matters complicated with his own big-hitting abilities.
Querrey boasts of a big serve and forehand but has several other weapons in his arsenal too which could trouble Raonic. Querrey is a consistent baseline player and also knows how to close out points at the net. Add to that his top-notch approach shots, and the Canadian could be in a fair amount of trouble on Saturday.
Sam Querrey has been more in touch with the sport during the lockdown, and will arguably have better match-fitness. That combined with his all-round explosive game could see him upset the higher-ranked Milos Raonic.
Prediction: Sam Querrey to win in three sets.
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: 3rd match of the morning session. Around 3 pm EDT (12:30 am IST)
Live telecast: India - Sony Ten 2 | USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN