Milos Raonic hasn’t been himself for ages.
The Canadian with the picture-perfect hair enjoyed an excellent season in 2016 and looked like the next big thing in men’s tennis, only to fall to the wayside since with injuries and lost confidence.
With the grass-court season underway in Europe, Raonic is the player outside of the top 10 on the tour that tennis punters should be keeping the closest eye on.
Despite a ranking that would suggest that he’s insignificant when it comes to making the late rounds of majors, World No. 35 Raonic is still seventh-favorite to win Wimbledon with 5Dimes offering +2000 on him.
It’s true that his season to date has been nothing special. Heading into ATP Stuttgart 2018 (the Mercedes Cup) the Canadian is just 11-6 on the season, he has no titles, and he withdrew from the French Open. A semifinal appearance at Indian Wells is the main bright spot to his season thus far.
But the former Wimbledon runner-up is seeded seventh in Stuttgart. Raonic’s early-round draw, if he’s fit, should be one that he negotiates his way through this week (he plays on Tuesday in Germany). In fact, if he loses before the quarters in Stuttgart it would be a major sign that he would have a lot to work on before the start of Wimbledon.
That the event in Stuttgart is not a major is not a good reason to avoid paying attention to the results for tennis punters. Let’s remember that the surprise semifinalist in Paris, Marco Cecchinato, claimed a low-tiered title on clay ahead of his French Open run. The small events quite often do in fact show who is in game-shape and who is playing well.
On that note, anyone that plays well in Stuttgart this week (or in the Netherlands) could hit some dangerous form at the All England Club. But Raonic is the one player to keep a close eye on because of his tremendous upside relative to his betting odds.
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