Originally Posted by merwy
You know what the problem is that I have with Raonic? I think he has a solid game and all, with the strong serve and steady baseline game. His serve will win him his service games. And his blunt and somewhat sluggish game is offensive enough to get a break in most sets and otherwise he can just play a tiebreak, which he also does well in because of his serve.
But I just don't see much room for improvement. I feel like.. this is it, you know? This is all we're going to see from him. He isn't going to suddenly change his technique and play like Federer or Djokovic, he will keep his clumsy technique and good serve. What is he going to improve? Serve harder? His movement might be improvable, but he will always keep moving uncomfortably because of his length. Same with Isner and Karlovic.
See, I don't see this. Every year, I see him improve something.
As the comms commented on at IW, between last year and this when he was doing his hip rehab, he also took time to put on some muscle weight in order to reinforce strength around those gangly joints and improve movement.
And I saw his USO match against MAndy as well as their SF last night, so I felt like I was able to see differences if there were going to be any. The first thing I saw was that ruthless backhand -- that was a groundstroke that was almost completely absent here in New York. I'm actually a little startled he was able to improve that that quickly.
The other huge difference I've seen between then and now, made evident not only in his semi but through this tournament, was mental. I'm an amateur photog of sorts, and I have some shots of the frustration that was evident on his face in his match with MAndy here. In this tournament, it feels like we've seen the complete opposite -- we've seen him fight for the point, go to the net, not be afraid to use his entire arsenal of shots, not give up, not be intimidated, not beat himself.
I think just based on what we've seen coupled with how young he is, there's still vast room for further improvement.