Raonic targets a final revenge after bitter defeat of Queen's Club.
Byline: JOHN SKILBECK
MILOS Raonic has been threatening to make a big noise in men's tennis for a long time and he has thanked John McEnroe for helping him find his voice at Wimbledon.
The tall, powerful Canadian tackles Andy Murray on Sunday in London, his first final in a grand slam.
Many would consider it an overdue debut appearance in a trophy match at a major, and it is an opportunity he is determined to seize upon. Raonic posted a simple message on Twitter - "I am by no means done yet" - as he prepared to face down not only a grand slam final regular in Murray, but a Centre Court crowd firmly behind the home player. McEnroe may have been known for his surly moods, but he fed off showing his emotions on court, and in a shortterm role working on Raonic's coaching team, which ends this weekend, he has primed the 25-year-old for success on the biggest stage. "That's for sure," said Raonic, when asked if McEnroe had made him more vocal on court.
"I think it's something that we've all been working together at. I think he's definitely put an emphasis on it."
Raonic said McEnroe has urged him to "try to get it out of you on court and leave it all out there", and the approach has paid off.
A more expressive Raonic has carved a path through the draw, fending off seven-time champion Roger Federer on Friday to earn his shot at glory.
But Raonic insists there is no angry streak within him.
"I haven't been angry. I've been quite positive," he said. "I think it's more of a positive attitude."
He practised on Court Five yesterday, with McEnroe and fellow coach Carlos Moya close at hand.
They will look to keep him grounded, but Raonic cannot ignore what awaits him, and the chance to lay a claim on being the leader of a new generation of players. "Hopefully I can make it count even more. I have a great opportunity on Sunday," Raonic said. "That's what I'm defi-nitely going to be looking forward to it.
"There was a significant point for me coming back from two sets to love in the fourth round (against David Goffin). Both Carlos and John took me aside and said, 'This can change your career at this point'. So hopefully it continues that way."
Raonic faces Murray in a final for the second time in three weeks and, having let a lead slip in the Aegon Championships showpiece at Queen's Club, he will be determined not to make the same mistake.
After that clash, Raonic expressed the hope he would get another shot at Murray in the Wimbledon final, and for the first time since 1988 the finalists from Queen's will line up on the second Sunday at the All England Club.
In that year, Boris Becker won Queen's but Stefan Edberg took revenge over the German at Wimbledon. In 1982, McEnroe was beaten both in the finals of Queen's and Wimbledon by Jimmy Connors.
Ahead of their Wimbledon reunion, Raonic was asked how realistic it had felt to wish for the rematch with Murray, and said: "I think I believed it more than I believed it probably at any other stage of entering a tournament.
"It's come together nicely. There's obviously been bumps throughout this week. I've overcome a lot of different things. Those things have
Milos Raonic was ruthless against the Federer serve