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Raonic excited by grass challenge

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Originally published on: 15/04/11 12:27

Something of a clay court rookie, Canada’s Milos Raonic has admitted he’s just as unsure how he will fare on grass once the European clay court swing is over.

The big-serving 20-year-old surprised many with the ease at which he has taken to clay after encouraging wins over Michael Llodra and Ernests Gulbis in Monte Carlo. And given that he is dangerous at the net and has one of the biggest overheads on tour, Raonic is tipped to produce something special when the grass season rolls round.

“I think it’s going to be an amazing challenge,” said Raonic, who has spent just a matter of minutes on turf in the past. “The thing is, every week this year, I’ve never played any other tournaments before.

“Every week is sort of like a new challenge, something new to sort of absorb, something new to get used to, figure out which courts have the bad bounces, which courts are better, which lockers are your lucky locker, all these kind of things.”

But Raonic, who was ultimately dealt a lesson in clay court play by David Ferrer in Monte Carlo, is keen to continue taking the ATP Tour one step at a time.

“I don’t think about this stuff too much, but every week is something new. I think I’m just not getting ahead of myself,” said the level-headed youngster.

But already thinking about his footwork on lawns, he added: “I think the more I keep improving, because of the difficulty of movement on grass, it’s a bit slippery at times, you have to stay low. I think getting better on clay, as far as moving goes, is going to help me there.”

Raonic, who regularly watched videotapes of Pete Sampras as a kid, will compete on the turf that his idol made home this summer when he features in the main draw at Wimbledon for the first time.

“Ill make sure after the French [Open] I have time to prepare and obviously give myself the best chance I can to win,” he said. And boy, imagine if he did…

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