June 13, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

After Stuttgart pullout, Raonic readies for Cecchinato (video)

LONDON – Milos Raonic didn’t hit the practice court much – if at all, during the first two days at Queen’s Club.

Of course, most of Tuesday was a washout.

But the 28-year-old Canadian looked hampered by his back through most of his return to action in Stuttgart last week.

And before he was to play 18-year-old countryman Félix Auger-Aliassime in the semifinals, he withdrew.

With Wimbledon looming, there are no chances to be taken. And Raonic had already been out of action nearly three months, since the Miami Open.

On Wednesday, he was out warming up with coach Fabrice Santoro at noon, in preparation for his first-round match at the Fever-Tree Championships against Marco Cecchinato.

Here’s what it looked like.

Compared to countrymen Denis Shapovalov (del Potro) and Félix Auger-Aliassime (Grigor Dimitrov), it’s not as bad a draw as all that.

If he can beat Cecchinato, he’d play either Alex de Minaur or qualifier Aljaz Bedene.

Raonic made the finals at Queen’s Club in 2016, losing to Andy Murray in a very entertaining match.

But a year ago, after winning his first round when India’s Yuki Bhambri retired down a set and 3-1 in the second, he pulled out before his second-round match against Feliciano Lopez with a right shoulder issue.

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