February 27, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

MELBOURNE, Australia – First official player spotting for the 2024 Australian Open is some welcome Canadian content.

Five-time AO quarterfinalist (or better), one-time semifinalist Milos Raonic was on Margaret Court Arena Monday, getting a perk by having a time slot on one of the roofed stadium, with the rain pelting down outside.

And he was practicing with a rather decent opponent, too: Daniil Medvedev.

Raonic was entered in the ATP 250 in Hong Kong last week, but withdrew before the start. Certainly you had to think that maybe this Australian Open, which will be his 12th, was also in question.

But he looked just fine out there. So let’s hope he answers the bell.

Here’s what the two of them looked like. (Sorry – not allowed to shoot video, even pre-tournament).

A few noteworthy things

Some of it may well be because a Raonic sighting has been so scarce in recent years. But a few things stood out.

First – the “Mardy Fish” style sockettes.

The second thing were some almost-exaggerated early takebacks on his groundstrokes. Perhaps they were always there, but it seemed like a lot more.

It made for a bit of an Ernest Gulbis hommage on the forehand.

And a Venus Williams hommage on the backhand (although without the highly-exaggered wrist break).

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