Even when he’s injured, Canada’s Milos Raonic is the man

Even when he’s injured, Canada’s Milos Raonic is the man

Milos Raonic, the 20-year-old tennis sensation from Thornhill, battled through back spasms to defeat the world’s number 13, Mardy Fish. The victory took place in straight sets in second-round play at the BNP Paribas Masters yesterday, two days after a gutsy first-round performance, where he narrowly edged Marsel Ilhan. In a post-match interview after that first victory, which marked the first of his career at a Masters 1000 event, Raonic said some patriotic things that, we admit, left us a bit weepy.

From the Globe and Mail:

“I noticed when I was walking off the court that there were a lot of Canadians in the crowd. I heard people saying ‘I’m Canadian. I’m here. I came down to watch you.’ It means a lot.

“I’m doing what I want to be doing, starting to be an ambassador for tennis in Canada and to help the sport grow. If people are coming down here for me, for Dan (Nestor), for the rest of the players, for Rebecca (Marino), it means a lot. It means that tennis development and tennis growth is going in the right way in Canada.

“Even further down the road, the goal would be all those tremendous talents and athletes you have going into hockey, if they could see really a successful road towards tennis in Canada, they might come this way. There really are some spectacular Canadian athletes, like Crosby, for example, Gretzky.”

Since the last legitimate tennis star from the Great White North, Montreal-born Greg Rusedski, fled the coup the first chance he had to play pro as a British international, Raonic’s words are all the more keenly felt. We just can’t help it—we love this kid.

Raonic overcomes injury to advance at Indian Wells [Globe and Mail]