“The fans made it all worth it – above and beyond”: Milos Raonic grateful for support on long road to comeback

Milos Raonic was in reflective and grateful mood after exiting the National Bank Open

Milos Raonic Milos Raonic in Toronto (Zuma/Panoramic)

Milos Raonic has been away from tennis for the best part of two years, struggling with lower-leg injuries.

And he’s already hinted that this return to the tour may be his swansong before retirement.

But after two good wins at the Canadian Open – beating ninth seed Frances Tiafoe in three sets followed by a straight-sets win over Taro Daniel – he feels that the rollercoaster of the last two years has been worth it just for the reaction he got from his home fans.

“It’s one of the most meaningful things,” he said of the ovation he got as he left court after losing in straight sets to Mackenzie McDonald. “I think it’s — I don’t know. I didn’t really get a glimpse of it. I got the sense of it just through the noise.

“And I think it’s probably the most special and endearing thing about these three matches, from Monday night to yesterday to today, through the ups and downs of it all, that energy that you can’t, like, quantify in any way or you can’t put a name to it.

“But it just — you know, you can kind of just like close your eyes and wish you were kind of in that same scenario many times over.

“But I’m extremely grateful for that. And, you know, all the ups and downs over the last months and years, that makes it worth it far and beyond.”

Raonic: Two years is a long time

And the 32-year-old refused to be pressed on his plans for hanging up his racquets when asked if he thought he might return to Toronto in the future.

“I tried to enjoy each aspect of [the tournament] as much as I could. And I don’t know. You know, two years away is a long time. I’ve been gone away for two years. You get a sense of how much — how many things can change in that period of time.

“So [2025, when the tournament returns to Toronto], it’s a long ways away. And, you know, I probably won’t even know that answer in 12 months or anything. So I’ve just got to keep looking forward and keep it short-term.”

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