How will Raonic’s serve hold up in Murray Wimbledon final?
In all six rounds at Wimbledon so far, Milos Raonic has sent down a fastest serve of at least 139 miles per hour.
There is no doubting that the Canadian’s booming serve is his most deadly weapon and should Raonic find some rhythm in his first Grand Slam final, Andy Murray could be in for a tricky afternoon.
However, there is every reason to believe that the 25-year-old will serve worse here than he did when beaten in a deciding set by Murray in the recent grass-court final at Queens.
On that occasion, Raonic got 73% of his first serves in play, but gave up seven break points (of which Murray took three) and was still ultimately beaten.
Yet only in his third-round triumph over Jack Sock during Wimbledon fortnight has Raonic maintained such a high first-serve in percentage.
In fact, in the opening three rounds the number six seed maintained a percentage of at least 70%. He has dipped below this level in all of his three matches since.
With the added pressure of a maiden Slam final and the fact he is taking on the home favourite, Raonic’s serve may be placed under greater stress. He has previous for rabbit-in-the-headlights moments, although his victory over Roger Federer in the semi-finals will certainly help to settle him down.
Looking back at the Queens showdown, there is another factor that works in Murray’s favour.
The Brit’s strong counter-punching and great returns meant that Raonic won only 44% of points on his second serve. He has been running at a higher percentage in each of his Wimbledon wins so far.
Logic would dictate that should Raonic get fewer first serves in at SW19 than he did at Queens, Murray will have even more opportunities on the Canadian’s second serve.
Murray is 1/4 to make it six straight successes over Raonic and this is the shortest price he has ever been to win a Grand Slam final. His current record is just two victories from 10 finals.
The serving element of this final at least is a major tick in favour of a second career Wimbledon crown.
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