The 23-year-old Canadian native has been an inspiration to his home nation and set national records throughout his advance to the quarterfinal round in the 2014 French Open and semifinal appearance in 2014 Wimbledon to make him the second Canadian ever to make it this far in the Grand Slam tournament. Watch the video above to see an analysis of the tennis star.
Here’s what you need to know about his history, career, girlfriend and more:
1. He is the Highest Ranking Canadian Tennis Player in History
Milos Raonic made his debut in the tennis world when he clinched his first ATP Tour title at the 2011 SAP Open in San Jose. The young Canadian’s victory was a huge upset, beating the then-ranked world No.9 player, Fernando Verdasco. Canada was extremely proud to call him one of their own as it was the first time since 1995 that a Canadian tennis player won an ATP title .
Raonic rose rapidly from No. 156 at the end of 2010 to No. 31. by 2011. Since the beginning of computer rankings in 1973, Raonic is the highest ranked Canadian man in professional tennis. He is also the first Canadian make it to the top 8 in a major.
As soon as Raonic started to rank, he found himself thrown into the spotlight where he is still constantly followed by the Canadian media. Raonic has used his fame to try and influence the next generation of Canadian tennis players and later starting a charity that raises money for children in need of prosthetic limbs to play sports, called the Milos Raonic Foundation.
2. He is Originally From Serbia
Although Raonic is a Canadian native, he is fluent in both English and Serbian. When he was 3 years old he moved from Podgorica, Montenegro, (former Yugoslavia before it became Serbia) to Ontario, Canada with his parents, brother and sister. His family was escaping the turmoil taking place at the time from the Bosnian War and felt it was raise their three children in Canada.
— Montenegro WorldWide (@MontenegroWorld) April 25, 2014
His father, Dusan, his mother, Vesna, and his sister are all successful engineers. His father is the one who pushed him to play tennis, supporting him fully as he excelled.
— Alex Lovsin (@alllllovsin) May 13, 2014
3. Wimbledon 2014 is His First Semifinal Appearance in a Grand Slam
Somehow, Raonic had never made it past the 4th round of a Major before the 2014 French Open. When he was still No. 31 in the world in 2013, he played Wimbledon, but was forced to withdraw due to a hip injury in the second round. He ended up getting surgery and sat out for almost three months.
He ended up losing his first quarterfinal ever in a Grand Slam against No. 2 in the world, Novak Djokovic with a 7-5, 7-6, 6-4 defeat.
Raonic told ATP WorldTour.com:
“It’s a good thing,” said Raonic. “If you asked me would I have ever thought that the first one would come at the French Open, I probably would not have answered that way, but I’m happy about it. I’m very happy with the level I’m playing [at this year], and I think it’s just showing in the results. I think that’s just a consequence of all the work I have been putting in.”
Raonic played his best match ever in the quarterfinals of 2014 Wimbledon with a 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-3 in in the fourth round against No. 10 seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan and will be moving on to the semifinals.
His win made him the second Canadian ever to make it to the Wimbledon quarterfinals in the Open era.
4. He Has One of the Strongest Serves on Tour
When Raonic was young, his father had him training with a ball machine at both 6:30am and 9:00pm every day. Raonic attributes his finesse on the court from the early morning sessions and workouts that molded his attitude and the way he played the game. The speed and accuracy of his serves he claims to have modeled after his hero, Pete Sampras.
All grown up, the 6 foot 5, 195 pound tennis star won the 2012 Aircel Chennai Open in Chennai, India, to take his second ever ATP title. Of the course of the tournament, Raonic did not drop serve once, taking him to the final where he beat Janko Tipsarević. By doing so, he became the first player since Roger Federer at the 2008 Gerry Weber Open to not drop a serve in a whole tournament. That year he served the most aces per match than any other player with the highest percentage of service games.
His first ATP title win in 2011 was also due to the 58 aces and zero dropped serves. Although he lost the next tournament in Memphis, he set a new tournament record with 129 aces.
5. He is Dating Model, Paula Kalini
It's only been two days…but I'm missing Miami pic.twitter.com/LahRVW726z
— Paula Kalini (@paulakalini) August 31, 2013
Raonic has been dating aspiring model and actress, Paula Kalini of Ontario, Canada. Although she currently lives in Ontario, the beauty is a mix of Russian and Ukrainian. Kalini’s father was formerly a tennis player which served as an introduction for her and Milos. The 22 year old is currently a student at Ryerson University and in the process of getting her BBA.
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