For the fourth time in his career, Milos Raonic is in the final of an ATP Masters Series event. The bad news for Raonic fans is simple. If he hopes to be the champ in New York this week, he will have to find a way to beat a player he has had zero success against in the past–World no. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
Raonic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the first of two semifinals on Friday. For the second time this year, Raonic defeated Tsitsipas rather easily in straight sets–7-6, 6-3. Raonic recorded 12 aces and dominated his service games. He won 90% of his first serve points, and 71% of his second serve points. Raonic also capitalized on his lone break opportunity in the second set.
This was the second time this season Raonic beat Tsitsipas. In the third round of the Australian Open, in their only other career meeting, Raonic beat Tsitsipas 7-5, 6-4, 7-6.
However, on Friday, Djokovic was in a dogfight himself. He defeated Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain in three sets, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6. It was the third set tiebreak where Djokovic took control of the match as he won 7-0 with ease. Djokovic is 10-0 all-time against Raonic including two previous titles in ATP Masters 1000 series events–the 2014 Paris Indoor and 2016 BNP Paribas in Indian Wells. Raonic also lost the 2013 Rogers Cup final to Rafael Nadal of Spain.