Big-serving Raonic is new king of tie-breaks

Fifth seed Milos Raonic claimed the throne as King of the Tiebreaks, blasting his way into the fourth round of the US Open with a 7-6(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(3) win over Victor Estrella Burgos on Saturday.

The big-hitting Canadian has used his booming serve to great effect at Flushing Meadows, particularly in the tie-breaks, winning all six he has faced in three matches including three against Estrella Burgos.

“Just an understanding that it is a coin toss in a lot of ways,” explained Raonic about his success in the pressure packed set clinchers. “It can go both ways but with my serve and ability to finish points quickly and the kind of pressure that puts on my opponents, I can maybe shift odds in my favour.

“When things aren't necessarily going well throughout the set, I feel like, okay, focus on making sure this goes all the way through. “Take care of your serve and give yourself a shot in the breaker.”

In terms of tie-breaks nobody does it better than the big Canadian, whose 0.719 win percentage is the  best among ATP Tour players who have played 30 or more breakers. While the 23-year-old Raonic has worked hard to develop an all-round game, he continues to lean heavily on one of the Tour's hardest serves to get him out of tough jams. That happened on Saturday against the 34-year-old Dominican, who became the oldest man to win his US Open debut with a first round win over Dutchman Igor Sijsling.

“It was difficult,” admitted Raonic, who blasted 22 aces past Estrella Burgos. “He's playing well. He's playing with a lot of aspiration.

“I'm glad that I was able to play well in the important moments. “It's good to get the win. It's good to put myself in this position in the fourth round to go further in this tournament and give myself an opportunity to play better.

“I believe I can play better. I believe I will.”

Many also believe Raonic could become the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam.
Already the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam semifinal with his final four appearance at Wimbledon, the fifth seed is on the cusp of cracking the Big Four of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

The protective sleeve he once wore on his right arm due to injury he now wears for style and good luck, becoming part of his signature as he changes colour schemes and designs at different tournaments.

But it is the Canadian's immaculately coiffed, never out of place, hair that has caught the fascination of commentators and fans alike.

“It's not really a secret. I don't got really too-different hair of most people, just the right product,” laughed Raonic. “I'll just let the hair speak for itself.
“It's got a Twitter account, so it actually does more speaking than I probably do on Twitter.”

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