Thanks for visiting the Australian Open Website. We can see you’re using Internet Explorer, and wanted to let you know that we will no longer be supporting this browser in future. We’d recommend you download a new browser if you'd like to continue keeping up with all of the latest tennis news!

Raonic in top health for a new year

  • Bede Briscomb
  • Luke Hemer

Former world No.3 Milos Raonic is in great shape ahead of Australian Open 2018. Raonic, who slipped 19 places to world No.24 due to a luckless run of injuries all year, is finally pain-free.
“I’m 100 per cent healthy but only 80 per cent through my off-season,” the Canadian told on Thursday during a combined workout at Melbourne Park with fellow New Balance ambassador and Australian cricket captain Steve Smith. “I would have liked to have a bit more training in the off-season but my injuries kept me delayed. I feel better than last year because I’ve had more time to prepare. Last year the season finished late for me so time was limited and everything ended up being a rush. Now I’ve had time to take off and recover.”

With two Australian Open quarterfinals, one semifinal and a Brisbane International title in the past three years, Raonic has enjoyed the Australian summer, but with a recurring abductor injury hampering his 2016 and 2017 campaigns, it hasn’t been without heartbreak. 

“It’s been my most consistent Slam and the one I felt like I’ve had the best opportunities. I’ve been unfortunate the last two years finishing with an injury but I’ve always felt good about the way I’ve played,” Raonic said. In a tennis season where nobody from last year’s top five - Djokovic, Murray, Nishikori, Wawrinka and Raonic – finished the year healthy, next month’s Australian Open has tennis fans across the world excited for what promises to be one of the most competitive tournaments in some time.

According to Raonic, it’s almost impossible to predict who’s going to win. “Novak’s played well here; he’s had a lot of time to train and recover. He could do the thing that Roger was able to do [this year],” he said. “Roger’s been playing great. It’s hard to know, it’s really hard to know. If you look at it from how things ended last year it’s Roger and Rafa, but it’s hard to discount guys when they’ve had time to train – I think Roger proved a lot of people wrong in that sense.”

The 2016 Wimbledon finalist also commented on the recently announced Grand Slam rule changes, including the plan to reduce the number of seeded players in main-draw singles from 32 seeds to 16. “You’re going to gain somewhere and you’ll also lose somewhere,” he said. “It’s going to create some more enticing matches in the first round but it will allow for some draws to open up and get those guaranteed bigger matches in the third round.
“You might have to wait until the fourth round or if a seed falls out early, one player might have a [bigger] opening for the quarterfinals. There’s a give and take -- but I think it’s positive.”