Apologies for the lack of match preview yesterday, however on Monday Konta lost to Venus Williams, which surprised me. Traders amongst you will have profited nicely from my advice with Konta taking a strong lead in the first set before being pegged back, the Brit eventually took the set however, 7-5. She was just too inconsistent throughout, and as soon as Williams got any depth on the ball Konta couldn’t handle it, she’s now slipped out of the world’s top 20 and has lots of work to do on her game.
Today sees us look at the match between the two big servers, Juan Martin Del Potro and Milos Raonic.
These two have met 4 times before, all on hard courts, the head to head is tied at 2-2. Del Potro beat Raonic comfortably in straight sets in Indian Wells a couple of weeks ago in just over an hour, and there’s nothing to suggest he can’t repeat that feat this time around.
Delpo has had a tricky route through to the Quarter Finals, beating Robin Haase, the returning Kei Nishikori and yesterday the improving Filip Krajinovic. I think he’s looked very impressive in Miami, and despite complaining about fatigue etc he looks hungry to replicate his success in Indian Wells earlier this month.
Raonic is yet to drop at set at this years tournament, and has dispatched Ymer, Schwartzman and Chardy on his way to today’s Quarter Final. Del Potro is a totally different beast though, and he’ll have to raise his game significantly is he is to beat the Argentine today.
Del Potro’s Recent Hard Court Mean Serving Stats
Won 70% of his service points
Held serve 92% of the time
We all know that Delpo has a bomb of a serve, it’s hard, flat and difficult to read yet alone return. Expect him to hold nearly all of his service games today, and with relative ease.
Raonic’s Recent Hard Court Mean Serving Stats
Won 69% of his service points
Held serve 87% of the time
I was surprised to see Raonic’s numbers above, I expected his service hold % to be in the 90’s. I think he is still finding his rhythm on his serve a bit, having only just returned to the Tour after time out through injury. He will hit more aces than Del Potro today for sure, however i also expect him to get broken at least once per set.
Del Potro’s Recent Hard Court Mean Returning Stats
Won 41% of his return points
Won 39% of his break points
Opponents have held 71% of the time against him
Del Potro has a strong return of serve off both wings, he will look to attack the second serve with his big forehand and slice the ball down low off the backhand wing. I expect the latter of those to make life very difficult for the tall Canadian today.
Raonic’s Recent Hard Court Mean Returning Stats
Won 36% of his return points
Won 46% of his break points
Opponents have held 77% of the time against him
One of Venus’ biggest strengths is her return game, she will look to be aggressive off the return but play with sensible margin for error. I expect her to break Konta today, possible even at least once per set.
Del Potro’s Groundstrokes
Del Potro has a monster of a forehand, and he’ll look to run around his backhand and get it into play as often as possible. He will predominantly slice the backhand, but we have seen him hitting over it a lot more in recent weeks. Expect him to dictate points from the back of the court, and hit plenty of winners.
Raonic, like Del Potro favours his forehand, and will look to get it in play as often as possible. The Canadian does like to come to the net whenever possible, so look out for this today. He will need to be aggressive and look to get the first strike in as often as possible in order to stand a chance against Delpo.
I firmly expect Delpo to win, if Raonic can find a high first serve % then this might go the distance. I just think the Argentine is in a winning vogue at the moment, and he’s hitting the ball so cleanly that he’ll have too much for Raonic who will struggle to defend against the Argentine’s pure power.
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