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Tiligateway ■ W'MIHFCSItWMONUNS.U « Volume 103, Issue 19 



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IT S THAT TIME AGAIN! 


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From there, the success would only 
encourage more young Canadians 
to take up tennis rather than more 
traditional Canadian sports. 

For those wary of turning their 
attention towards Raonic or learn¬ 
ing about tennis in general, Raon- 
ic's youth offers a perfect opportu¬ 
nity to learn about the game's more 
difficult aspects. While Raonic is 
already known for his extremely 
powerful and effective serving 
skills, which earn him easy points 
against the sport's best defensive 
players, his game still requires a 
great deal of work. 

Last Sunday, the 2013 Australian 
Open came to a close. As the first 
Grand Slam tournament of the 
year, it sets the tone for a player’s 
performance throughout the rest 
of the tour — and while Raonic's 
fourth-round match marks the 
farthest he’s gotten in a Grand 
Slam tournament, his final match 
against Switzerland's Roger Feder- 
er brought out the kinks in the Ca¬ 
nadian's game. 

Federer certainly felt the wrath 
of Raonic's serve, but the Swiss 
maestro repeatedly beat him down 
when it came to volleying and play¬ 
ing close to the net. These more 
complex skills are only learned 
through time, which means those 
opting to start following Raonic 
can learn and grow with him as he 
works them out and ascends the 
ranks. 

It's such technical complexities 
that mark what's so great about the 
game of tennis. Though the close- 
quarters. back-and-forth nature of 
the sport might not be appealing to 
some, few things are more intense 
than a smashed tennis ball repeat¬ 
edly blurring across the court, as 


both players grow more fatigued 
with every cross-court sprint. The 
individual nature of tennis also fre¬ 
quently forces physicality to take a 
back seat while the game turns into 
a psychological battle between op¬ 
ponents. 

Unlike many team sports, tennis 
is certainly a sport where underdogs 
can achieve the impossible, and no 
outcome is certain until the last set 
is finished. 


Ryan 

Stephens 

SPORTS COMMENTARY 


in a country almost exclusively fo¬ 
cused on hockey and football, it's 
difficult to make a case to Cana¬ 
dians that tennis is a sport worth 
watching. 

It could be chalked up as a prod¬ 
uct of time zones that force the big¬ 
gest tournaments to be televised 
at inconvenient times — or maybe 
we've grown so accustomed to 
team sports that solo competitions 
seem less important. But most of 
all, I'd attribute it to the fact that 
Canada has never created a tennis 
superstar who's dominated on the 
world stage. 

Over the past two years. Milos 
Raonic has risen in the internation¬ 
al ranks from relative obscurity to 
the doorstep of the top 10. Born in 
the former Yugoslavia on the cusp 
of its dissolution, Raonic moved to 
Canada at an early age and began 
playing tennis at eight. At 6'5”, his 
tremendous height would have 
given him an advantage in nearly 
any sport, so his decision to play 
tennis instead may seem surpris¬ 
ing, though it likely speaks to his 
roots in Europe, where tennis is 
well-regarded. 

Raonic's decision to compete un¬ 
der the Canadian banner speaks to 
his intention to raise the profile of 
tennis across the country, and if his 
performance continues to increase 
at the same pace, it shouldn't be 
long before Canada is represented 
regularly in men's tennis finals. 


Federer certainly felt 
the wrath of Raonic’s 
serve, but the Swiss 
maestro repeatedly beat 
him down when it came 
to volleying and playing 
close to the net. These 
more complex skills are 
only learned through 
time, which means those 
opting to start following 
Raonic can learn and 
grow with him as he 
works them outands 
ascends the ranks. 


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As Raonic continues into the 
second month of the world tour, 
there are plenty of smaller tourna¬ 
ments to watch and mark his prog¬ 
ress. With the second Grand Slam 
tournament on the horizon in 
May's French Open, we'll be able to 
watch Raonic go at it with tennis's 
best once again, also encouraging 
us to get more active as the sum¬ 
mer months approach.