Tennis: Play the Mental Game

Written by Peter Gehr Senior Tennis Editor

Tennis: Play the Mental Game

Tennis: Play the Mental Game Photo by Texas Athlete

There’s one thing that goes without saying with the up-and-coming Canadian tennis star, Milos Raonic, is that his serve is world-class and his edgy style is getting the attention of the tennis community. When you play tennis, you quickly learn that the fundamentals of the game include the ever-increasing importance of tennis tactics and tennis: play the mental game.

The rising Canadian star shows the ability to vary tennis skills with his “awareness of anticipation” The 20 year old also stated that, “Confidence is the biggest thing, and the competitive instinct.”

Ranked 29th in the world, Raonic is being noticed, and as this reporter points out, he is a force to be reckoned with, or at least to pay attention to.

Tennis. Play the Mental Game

“One thing Raonic has found — and something he took into consideration by taking as long as he did to rehab from the hip operation — is that he is still respected and, in some ways, feared by his opponents now that he’s back to almost 100 per cent efficiency.

“One of the big things is having respect, and when you lose it, it’s hard to get it back,” said the possessor of one of the game’s most potent serves. “If they smell blood, people in tennis are really hungry and out to expose it.”

Raonic has a full schedule set up to take him to the end of the season; he’s off next week but plans to finish up with tournaments in Valencia and Paris before a much-anticipated exhibition match against Pete Sampras at the Air Canada Centre on Nov. 17.

That Sampras match, the first tennis event at the arena, will give Roanic a chance to play at home for the first time this season; he was rehabbing his hip injury and missed the summer’s Rogers Cup.

“It’s going to give me a good feeling to be able to see what kind of impact I’ve had,” he said. “Not playing in Canada was hard, and when I was coming back, I was working out in private a lot.”

But there is no denying that Raonic has had a significant impact on increasing awareness of tennis in Canada among casual sports fans. The hard-core fans may not have been surprised by his rapid ascension up the ATP rankings; the people who rarely tune into the sport now know there’s a Canadian star on the rise and the ACC event will give them a chance to see him first-hand.”

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At the age of 3 Raonic emigrated to Canada with his parents from Montenegro. He began playing his first tennis in Toronto when he was only 8.

With a passion to represent Canada, Raonic plans to create a following for tennis in his country, and to inspire other young players to follow his lead. His desire to achieve greatness within the game motivates him to tennis, play the mental game, and to draw attention to the sport amongst all new talent within the tennis community.

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