Novak Djokovic vs Milos Raonic: Cincinnati Open: Preview and Prediction

World number 1, Novak Djokovic takes on 30th-ranked Milos Raonic in the finals of the Cincinnati Open tonight. 

After winning three matches without conceding a set, Djokovic lost his first set against Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinals. He roared back winning the second set 6-4. In the decider, the Serb came out on top in the tiebreak to win it 7-6. It was a stern test for Djokovic in a three-hour epic match. 

Despite playing an in-form Stefanos Tsitsipas, Raonic was consistent throughout the match. With a comprehensive 7-6 6-3 win, the Canadian delivered a clinical performance. Smashing 12 aces and possessing a 90% winning percentage on his first serve, he was unstoppable.

A plethora of records is in store for Djokovic. He will aim to tie his arch-rival, Rafael Nadal, for the most ATP Masters 1000 titles at 35. Playing his seventh Cincinnati Open final, Djokovic would be going for his second Cincinnati title along with completing a second career Golden masters. 

On the other hand, Raonic would aim to become the first Canadian to ever win an ATP Masters 1000 title. No unseeded player in the Open era has ever clinched the Cincinnati Open, the Canadian would look to get his name in the record books. 

Though he is oozing with confidence, Djokovic cannot take Raonic lightly. "[He has a] huge serve," Djokovic said of Raonic, who has hit a tournament-leading 88 aces. "He's playing well, he's confident and let's hope for a good final."

“I'm playing well. I think I'm moving much better than I definitely have in recent years. Maybe it's been a long time [off], and I think that's putting me in a better position so I'm able to be more effective and more aggressive earlier [in rallies]," said Raonic. 

Having pulled out from 10 events last year due to injury, Raonic is slowly getting back to peak form. Djokovic will be looking to continue his 22-0 unbeaten streak this season. 

Head to Head record

Djokovic leads the head to head record 10-0. Despite the lopsided rivalry between the two players, this match could well go the distance.

Prediction - Novak Djokovic to win in three sets

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