MELBOURNE – There’s no way to predict how it will affect his effort, before the match even begins, but from his warmup Saturday before an encounter with France’s Gilles Simon, Raonic is a long way from 100 per cent.
After coming with the flu in the wake of playing on that 38C day Tuesday, the Canadian wasn’t feeling great after his second-round win over Gilles Muller. Indeed, he didn’t have much voice left at all. We didn’t spot him on site at all Wednesday (although we might have missed him; there was a lot going on).
Raonic warmed up with new co-coach Richard Krajicek Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. and mostly did what he’d usually do. But when he sat down, there was plenty of coughing into his towel and blowing of nose (on an unrelated note, your humble Open Court servant can completely relate to this state of being, without the necessity of having to play five sets of men’s tennis while hacking).
Here’s what he looked like. (No, that’s not him below in the still – that’s Krajicek)
We asked him about it as he came off the court. He laughed, shook his head and said. “Old!”
As for Raonic, we’ll see how efficient he’s able to be against Simon, who’s not the guy you necessarily want to play when you want to get it over in a hurry.