Breaks are likely to be a rare occurrence on Court 1 when John Isner and Milos Raonic face off for a spot in the semi finals. It will be Raonic’s third semi final in five years should he advance while Isner is in new territory here. He is in his first Wimbledon quarter final and just second in total at slams, the first coming in New York 7 years ago.
In addition to the Wimbledon formula bumping his seeding up to 13, Raonic has had the luck when it comes to his draw this fortnight. The two seeds in his section of the draw – Lucas Pouille and Marin Cilic – both suffered early losses. This allowed him to ease through to the quarter finals with wins over Liam Broady, John Millman, Dennis Novak and most recently Mackenzie McDonald. Raonic didn’t face a break point in the four set win over McDonald but will rue his inability to convert one of two break points at 5-5 when the third set tiebreak was looming.
Isner may be on the verge of making a name for himself for something other than his marathon match with Nicolas Mahut. The huge serving American has bounced back after escaping a tight five setter with Ruben Bemelmans in round two. He had too much experience for highly touted Stefanos Tsitsipas in the previous, dominating on serve with 22 aces. It has never been a tournament that Isner has had much luck on despite conventional wisdom thinking that his serve would bring major success on the surface.
“I think I can move a little bit better than he can. He’s got a bigger wingspan than I do. I think probably the thing is, neither of us behind our serves is hitting extremely difficult volleys. I think I feel more comfortable than he does up there. I think the margins are small. It’s these kind of things. It’s going to come down to really being disciplined with yourself. Just because opportunities arise, if you let the other guy be the aggressor, you get passive, it’s going to hurt you pretty quickly.” Raonic said in analysing the matchup. Isner leads the head to head 3-1 but all four matches came on North American hard courts, where he has always performed much better. The matchup is much more in Raonic’s favour and he should advance for yet another match up with Roger Federer.
Prediction – Milos Raonic in four sets