Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Milos Raonic: Cincinnati Open Preview and Prediction
The World number six, Stefanos Tsitsipas faces 30th-ranked Milos Raonic in a scintillating semifinal of the Cincinnati Open tonight.
Having won all his matches in straight sets, Tsitsipas is sailing smooth. The Greek began his campaign with a straight-set demolition of Kevin Anderson.
In a tough pre-quarterfinal match, the 22-year-old came out on top outlasting John Isner 7-6 7-6. He smashed 10 aces and clocked a first-serve percentage of 99. In another against a big-server Reilly Opelka in the quarterfinals, Tsitsipas was trailing 5-6 when Opelka retired hurt.
On the other hand, Raonic kickstarted the tournament with a 6-4 6-4 win over Sam Querrey. The Canadian was unstoppable as he smashed 19 aces. He continued his good form defeating Daniel Evans 6-3 7-5 in the round of 32.
In what was expected to be a tough battle against Andy Murray in the pre-quarterfinals, the 29-year-old came out on top thrashing him 6-2 6-2.
Raonic started slowly in the quarterfinals losing the first set 6-4 to Filip Krajinovic. However, he bounced back to win the next two sets 7-6 7-5 and saved a match point to emerge victorious. Despite a sluggish 61% on his first serve, Raonic balanced it by smashing 24 aces.
Strengths of Tsitsipas
The leader of the Next-Gen is an attacking baseliner. While his forehand is powerful, his one-handed backhand can unsettle opponents as it comes with a lot of topspin.
The Greek has added a backhand slice to his weapons recently. His second-serve is inconsistent and can be exploited by Raonic. Tsitsipas is very smart in his netplay and has many variations up his sleeve.
Strengths of Raonic
When his first-serve is on song, Raonic is unstoppable. His forehands are flat and he is good at hitting it on the run.
While his backhand is vulnerable as it lacks power and depth, his movement leaves a lot to be desired. Despite not being a great volley player, the Canadian balances it with his consistent groundstrokes.
Head to Head record
The two players have met each other only once so far. Milos Raonic won their clash in the Australian Open this year in straight sets.
While Tsitsipas will be looking to continue his good form this season, Raonic would look to upset his plans by peaking at the right time. Having played one match more than Tsitsipas, Raonic would look to avoid playing a long match.
Prediction - Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in three sets
Featured image credits: firstsportz.com