October 23, 2020

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Milos Raonic saving his knees for the indoor circuit, out of Roland Garros

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ROLAND GARROS – There were three late withdrawals from Roland Garros, announced just before the draw ceremony Thursday in Paris.

Kyle Edmund, Fernando Verdasco and … Canadian Milos Raonic.

For Raonic, who turns 30 in December, it was a matter of prioritizing what he plans to be a full indoor fall season in Europe – assuming all of those events go ahead as planned.

Open Court reached the Canadian’s agent, Amit Naor, Thursday night, and he said that Raonic had some sensitivity in the left knee he had arthroscopic surgery on a few years ago.

There wasn’t much time to prepare for the clay before Rome, and he played hard there, which caused some discomfort in the knees.

It’s a situation Raonic told Open Court awhile back that he has to constantly manage, to avoid more surgery.

The clay, and best-of-five sets, take a toll on a 6-foot-5, 220-pound body at 100 per cent. At 75-80 per cent, with Raonic planning a full indoor hard-court swing in this rushed pandemic year, there was a risk of injury even if Raonic loves Roland Garros and is gutted to be missing it.

So he decided not to push it, and made the call.

Raonic
Raonic at Roland Garros in 2016 – with the coaching super team of Ricardo Piatti and Carlos Moya. A few weeks later, he made the WImbledon singles final. (Stephanie Myles/Opencourt.ca)

Long drive back from Rome

Raonic and team drove from Monte Carlo to Rome two weeks ago, to avoid having to fly. The Canadian has been forthright about how he has prioritized staying safe to avoid getting the coronavirus.

They drove back a week ago after he and Félix Auger-Aliassime were eliminated from the doubles – nine hours back to Monte Carlo.

After getting some treatment on the knee for a few days, Raonic practiced Monday in Monte Carlo and didn’t feel … great.

He waited until as late as possible to make the decision without causing the organizers the headaches caused by the withdrawal of a seeded player after the draw has been made.

Raonic was briefly in Paris Thursday to be examined by the tournament physician, Naor said, and returned home.

Raonic
Raonic back in 2014, when he defeated a young Nick Kyrgios at Roland Garros. (Stephanie Myles/Opencourt.ca)

Full indoor season planned

Naor said Raonic was planning to run the table this fall: St. Petersburg, Antwerp, Vienna, Paris Masters and Sofia.

Having played so little last fall, any points he earns would be pluses on his rankings resumé. It would take a supreme effort for him to make the final eight for the ATP Tour Finals, though. He currently stands at No. 20.