WASHINGTON, D.C. – The best players will often practice together.
But when it comes time to warm up before their actual matches, typically they’ll want to do their own thing.
And so Canadians Félix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic were both on court at the same time Thursday afternoon, preparing for their third-round matches at the Citi Open. But not together.
It’s not as though they don’t get along; Raonic said Wednesday after his second-round win over qualifier Tim Smyczek that he and Auger-Aliassime had dinner together the previous night.
Auger-Aliassime, who will play No. 6 seed Marin Cilic, was on the stadium court he’ll compete on later today.
Raonic was on the Grandstand, where his match against lucky loser Peter Gojowczyk will also take place. And generally, before a match, the veteran Canadian prefers to warm up alone with his coach.
So both were on their match courts. They didn’t really have ideal feeding to get themselves ready, as Auger-Aliassime had a tournament-provided hitting partner and Raonic had a coach feeding him balls from half court by interim coach Mario Tudor.
Hot and sticky in D.C.
Raonic, in particular, looked pretty overheated. He went to the towel often. The infamous coffure was – dare we say it? – a little disheveled.
Auger-Aliassime had his racket fly right out of his hand – hard – while attempting to hit an overhead during his warmup.
You can hear the CRACK. He wasn’t too happy about it.
It’s going to be even more humid later when both get on court.