After an upstart showing at the Aussie Open, Milos Raonic upsets at the French

After an upstart showing at the Aussie Open, Milos Raonic upsets at the French

Milos Raonic fell in the first round of his first-ever seeded Slam (Image: Mark Howard) 

We had high hopes for young Milos at this year’s French Open. The pride of Thornhill had set a blistering pace so far in 2011, shooting up from relative obscurity to one of the world’s hottest young tennis stars in just a few months. But the red clay at Roland Garros proved too tough a challenge for the up-and-coming Canadian sensation—on Monday, Raonic fell in four sets to Germany’s Michael Berrer in first-round action. Perhaps the pressure finally proved too much for the 20-year-old, who, by all accounts, wasn’t his usual poised and confident self.

We turn to the Montreal Gazette‘s Stephanie Myles for the story:

Milos Raonic was fresh and rested for his first French Open. He had been training well. He had been practising against some of the best left-handers in the game the last few days—including Rafael Nadal—to prepare for his first-round encounter with lefty Michael Berrer of Germany.

But on only the second day of the tournament, the top Canadian already is headed home.

Raonic, of Thornhill, Ont., lost to Berrer 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, as darkness fell on tiny Court No. 10 at Roland Garros on Monday night. He went down in a morass of poor serving, unforced errors and a little blast from the Raonic past: some of the emotions and negative body language that had so held the 20-year-old back before his big breakthrough at the Australian Open earlier this season.

Raonic’s disappointing loss, coincidentally, comes just weeks after gracing the cover of the June issue of Toronto Life magazine. But any rumours of a cover jinx are completely and unequivocally false (after all, we wouldn’t want to infringe on Sports Illustrated’s storied turf—they basically have a monopoly on that front). Just don’t ask George Smitherman.

Ranoic ousted from French Open [Toronto Sun]
Wozniak through, Raonic upset at French Open [National Post]
Cvitkovic: Raonic cannot tiptoe through Paris [CBC Sports]