Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Milos Raonic ATP Picks & Predictions - 6/15/2019
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Milos Raonic
8 am EST, 15th June 2019
ATP Stuttgart, Germany
All-Canadian affair in the second semifinal of the ATP Stuttgart. The first player who battled his way there is Felix Auger-Aliassime, who will try to get into his 3rd final this year, despite being one of the youngest players on the tour at 18 years of age. In quarterfinals, he eliminated one of his best tennis buddies, Dustin Brown. It was a great match, full of twists and turns. In the beginning, Felix was completely dialed in. He was returning Brown's serve extremely well, winning 37% of those points in the first set and earning himself 3 break opportunities which he failed to convert. He was still rewarded with a win in the tie-break for his good performance in that set. In the second, Brown managed to level things out. They were toe-to-toe entire time, with the difference being poorly played tie-breaker by the young Canadian. In the decider, the more experienced player found his rhythm on the return. Constantly pressured Felix and managed to break his serve. Had a match point at 5-4, struck it into the net and from that point on, he wasn't able to mentally overcome that lost opportunity. Played a horrible tie-break and lost the match. 2 hours and 31 minutes of very good, fun to watch tennis.
On the other side, Milos Raonic was in cruise-mode throughout his match. Fucsovics was nowhere near upsetting the big-serving Canadian, born in Montenegro. Stats are confirming that with 79% of points won behind his serve. Uncharacteristically for him, he returned really well (40%), but managed to manufacture only 2 break opportunities out of it. Luckily for him, he was deadly once those appeared and converted both on the road to an easy, straight sets win in just 74 minutes. Even though there were some concerns about his recovery from injury, he's shaken the rust really well in these 3 matches so far and is trying to improve on a runner-up result from last year.
Competing for the same Davis Cup team, I'm sure they had many hits on the practice court, but they played only once in the official matches. It happened in 2018 at Indian Wells Masters with Raonic taking a straight sets victory. Taking anything from that match would be foolish in my opinion. The improvement that Auger-Alliasime showed in the last couple of months is clearly saying that he is no longer the same player he was in March 2018.
What I really liked about his performance vs Brown and think will come very handy in this match is his returning ability. It's going to be a different type of deal though, with Milos not coming to the net nearly as often after his serve, but the quick reactions and ability to take away some of those free points can really help him in this match. In the serving department, I don't think he's much behind, while he should have the edge with his movement and baseline play, once the ball gets past those first 3 shots.
Betting odds & prediction
As expected, Raonic was opened as a favorite in this one. Watching his tape, he might seem almost impossible to deal with in faster conditions, considering all the big weapons he possesses. But I know he has some chinks in his armor. Game of all the players which rely on their services that heavily, will eventually fall apart as soon as returner starts to see their serve well. (Continuing with some baseball terminology) And once he gets some good contact going, server has to work for those points way harder then he's used to. I believe Auger-Aliassime has the ability to do so vs Raonic and maybe even cause an upset, which will take him into the 3rd final this year.
Guy's Pick: Felix Auger-Aliassime +2 (+100)
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