ATP Western & Southern Open Semifinals

Tsitsipas vs Raonic

Tsitsipas had virtually no success against Raonic in their one previous meeting, won by the Canadian in straight sets at the Australian Open in January. Photo by ABACA Press

  • Canadian players have been the bane of Stefanos Tsitsipas’s career – including in the juniors. He’s 5-13 against them
  • The rescheduled semifinal will be played on Louis Armstrong Stadium, a court Raonic says is slower than the field courts. The extra day of rest after the tournament paused on Thursday can only be beneficial for Raonic’s recovery
  • Read our preview and best bet for Friday’s Tsitsipas vs Raonic match below

Tsitsipas and Raonic had very different quarterfinal days on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Greek star only had to play 11 games against big-serving Reilly Opelka before the young American retired with a knee issue. He wasn’t even on court 40 minutes, in the afternoon.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Milos Raonic Odds

Player Spread Moneyline Total at DraftKings
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) -1.5 (-137) -190 O 25.5 (-108)
Milos Raonic (CAN) +1.5 (+108) +150 U 25.5 (-117)

Odds taken Aug. 27

Raonic, on the other hand, needed two hours and 42 minutes in a hard-fought comeback victory over Filip Krajinovic of Serbia. And it was played late into the evening in cooler conditions; his big serve is less effective in those circumstances.

This is the first tournament back for both, after more than five months. And unlike the older Raonic – whose injury woes have been many and myriad – Tsitsipas has proven to be extremely durable through his young career.

And this week, the 29-year-old Canadian has toiled a lot harder than his younger opponent.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Milos Raonic Head to Head

22 (Aug. 12 1998) Age 29 (Dec. 27, 1990)
Monte Carlo, Monaco Residence Monte Carlo, Monaco
6-4 Height 6-5
5 ATP Singles Titles 8
16-5 2020 won-loss record 11-4
No. 5 (Aug. 5, 2019) Career high ranking No. 3 (Nov. 21, 2016)
$11,236,215 Career Prize Money $19,309,707
0 Head-to-Head 1

In three matches after a first-round bye, Tsitsipas has spent three hours, 30 minutes on court.

In four matches, Raonic has played exactly twice as long – seven hours. He also has had to deal with a 90-minute, mid-match rain delay and more late-night play.

Tsitsipas and the Canadian Jinx

Canadians are very fine people. But you can forgive Tsitsipas if he’s not a big fan.

Between the juniors and the pros, he has faced Canadian players 18 times. And they have beaten him … 13 times.

Tsitsipas vs Canadian Opponents

Player Head to Head – Pros Head to Head – Juniors
vs. Félix Auger-Aliassime 2-2 0-3
vs. Denis Shapovalov 1-3 1-2
 vs. Milos Raonic 0-1 N/A
vs. Vasek Pospisil 1-1 N/A
vs. Steven Diez 0-1 N/A

The only encounter with Raonic was a recent one, at the Australian Open in January. Raonic defeated him 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (2) in exactly 2 1/2 hours.

Tsitsipas was thoroughly outplayed; Raonic out-aced him, 19 to nine. Tsitsipas won just 11 percent of points when Raonic got his first serve in. And he didn’t create a single break-point opportunity.

Raonic converted two, in six opportunities.

2020 US Open Odds Tracker

Raonic Body Holding Up

After the long, late match against Krajinovic Wednesday night, Raonic said his body was holding up well after four matches in five days, mostly in overbearing heat and humidity.

“Much better (than expected). You know, I don’t have anything that’s bugging me, so I’m happy with that,” he said.

Still, not having to follow up the Krajinovic match with another, against a top-five player, the very next day can only be a positive for the Canadian.

The new Friday schedule has this match on at 1:00 pm EST, in the heat of day (good for Raonic’s serve). However, it will be in Louis Armstrong Stadium, which Raonic said was slower than the outer courts.

“Big-Server” Week for Tsitsipas

With back-to-back matches against John Isner and Reilly Opelka – among the absolute elite in the power serve hierarchy – Tsitsipas will have honed his fast-twitch muscles before he faces Raonic.

Asked whose serve was tougher: “That’s an unbelievable question, to be honest with you. It is like you tell me, white bread or black bread. It’s like — I don’t know. It’s a personal choice, I guess,” he said.

For the record, Tsitsipas found Opelka’s second serve more aggressive, and that it kicked up higher.

His first-serve return numbers against Isner and Opelka are a fair bit better than the paltry 11 percent he managed in his one meeting against Raonic.

Against a diminished Opelka this week, Tsitsipas won 5-of-20 first-serve return points.

Against Isner, in a bigger sample size (four matches), his overall success rate on first serves is 19 percent (46-for-244). But he has broken Isner just once in 10 opportunities, over those four matches.

Prediction: Raonic in three sets

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Stephanie Myles

MLB NHL Tennis Sports Writer

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