With Rio 2016 less than three months away, Milos Raonic is looking to get back to his best.
Raonic’s streak of six straight ATP quarterfinal appearances came to an end last week in the Italian Open’s second round, falling to Australian Nick Kyrgios in straight sets, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Kyrgios has had Raonic’s number of late, winning the past three head-to-head matches against the Canadian.
Despite the setback, Raonic has had an impressive 2016 campaign, going 24-6 overall. He’ll look to return to quarterfinal play – at least – next week in Paris, where the second grand slam of the season, the French Open, will take place.
Raonic opened the year by winning the Brisbane International in early January, defeating Roger Federer in the final. The 25-year-old followed that up by reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open, where he fell in five sets to Andy Murray. It was in this semifinal where an adductor muscle injury started to plague Raonic, hurting his lateral movement.
After rehabbing the injury, Raonic returned to action in March at Indian Wells, losing in straight sets to top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the final.
Raonic went on to reach quarterfinals of the next three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Miami, Monte Carlo and Madrid, respectively, but made it no further. Entering the Italian Open, the Thornhill, ON native was the only player on the ATP World Tour to reach the quarterfinals or better of all four Masters 1000 tournaments.
Raonic’s success has seen him rise up the ATP rankings for much of the year, going from 14th in January to his current No. 9 position. A successful French Open could continue his rise up the rankings as the Olympics near.
Joining Raonic on the men’s side at Roland Garros will be Canadian Vasek Pospisil. The 25-year old is currently ranked 47th in the world and 4-12 in singles play this year. On the doubles side though, Pospisil is 14-7, ranking him 17th, and has reached three finals, including a tournament win at Rotterdam in February.
On the women’s side in singles at Roland Garros, Eugenie Bouchard will enter ranked 46th in the WTA and Aleksandra Wozniak will also compete in her bid to fully return from injury with tour success. Bouchard is coming off an Italian Open that saw her upset Angelique Kerber in the round of 32 before falling to Barbora Styrcova in the quarterfinals. Bouchard reached the semifinals of the French Open in 2014.
Other Canadians to watch as Rio approaches are Daniel Nestor and Gabriela Dabrowski. The 43-year-old Nestor is currently ranked 14th in the ATP doubles rankings, posting a 10-11 record this season. Meanwhile, Dabrowski is 8-13 in doubles action this season, placing her 53rd in the WTA rankings.