Raonic regrets net-touching incident in Rogers Cup match against del Potro

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

“I’m disappointed with myself how I dealt with it, and it’s something I learned a lot from,” the Rogers Cup finalist said, adding he intends to apologize to opponent Juan Martin del Potro.

Rogers Cup finalist Milos Raonic admitted Monday he was disappointed with how he handled last week’s controversial net-touching incident during his third-round win in Montreal against Juan Martin del Potro.

Raonic is the first Canadian men’s singles player to be ranked in the top 10 in the new ATP rankings, thanks to his run to Sunday’s final of the Rogers Cup, where he lost to Rafael Nadal. He was the first Canadian to play for the title at home in decades.

Raonic moved up three spots to No. 10 from what had been his previous career high.

The Thornhill, Ont., native headed straight for the Cincinnati event, where he hit the practice court and also confessed that he could have dealt with the fair-play situation better.

“I made a mistake in the spur of the moment, I guess because I hadn’t been faced with it before,” Raonic said. “I’m disappointed with myself how I dealt with it, and it’s something I learned a lot from.”

Raonic was given what amounted to a pass late in the match when his left foot touched the net at the end of a shot in violation of the rules. But the chair umpire who was following the trajectory of the ball – a Raonic winner – failed to notice the rule infraction and Raonic took the point and the eventual win into the quarter-finals.

While Del Potro was steaming on Twitter, Raonic had other things on his plate as he reached the historic final. “I didn’t have the opportunity until really the last two days to think about it that much. It’s something that I feel sorry about and something I want to apologize to Juan when I see him here.

“I don’t think I dealt with that the right way. It’s something that probably in the future I should call on myself.”

The Cincinnati 12th seed will start his campaign at the last major tune-up prior to the start of the U.S. Open on Aug. 26 when he faces American wild card Jack Sock. There will be some revenge involved after Sock knocked the Canadian out in the first round at Memphis in February, three days after Raonic lifted the San Jose title for a third year in a row.

Raonic also praised his new coaching situation, characterizing his spring choice of Ivan Ljubicic as “a decision that took a lot of thought and a lot of discussion. It was about making sure that we see eye to eye on what I need to do and to compete with the best guys and what I need to do to get better and to be able to achieve my goals.

“We did see eye to eye in trying to find a way to be more aggressive playing, find more opportunities to go forward, and focus a lot on development and knowing that this was the most important thing for me to achieve what I want to achieve in tennis.

“Knowing how particularly smart he was on court at finding solutions and how he saw the game really well, this gave me a lot of confidence that he would be able to translate and sort of pass on his advice to me.”

Raonic didn’t have the biggest jump in the rankings among Canadian men.

Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, B.C., who lost to Raonic in the Rogers Cup semifinals, rose 31 spots to No. 40 to reach his career high.

Nadal moved up one spot to No. 3 after winning the Rogers Cup.

The Canadian Press

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