Canadian tennis ace Milos Raonic on the road ahead: 'I want to win my first grand slam'

By Shinan Govani

For the better part of a decade, four names dominated male tennis: Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray. Today, a fresh crew of would-be titans are scrambling for court glory – chief among them the built-to-serve Milos Raonic.

After an impressive 2016, which saw him become the first Canadian to compete in the Wimbledon men’s singles final and finish the ATP season ranked no. 3 in the world, the extra-tall sportsman, 26, gets back in the game at the Australian Open (Jan. 16 to 29) in Melbourne. Recently, I caught up with the New Balance Tennis ambassador to talk about racquet game-plans, his penchant for keeping a diary, his newfound “interest in art and much more!

TAP TO VIEW GALLERYPhoto: © KC Armstrong

LOOKING AHEAD

"I could get better at my French, yeah. But really, in terms of main resolutions for the year, one is personal and one is results-based. I want to play a whole year healthy... I haven't been able to do it fully for a whole season. Second, I want to win my first grand slam. I know I can do it."

MOTIVATION

"I hate losing more than I enjoy winning. I should work on that, possibly. But the truth is, it's the biggest kick for me – the fear of the loss."

ON MEETING DAVID BECKHAM

"He’s a great athlete who’s made himself into the second- or third- biggest brand in the world. Athletically, he wasn’t in his sport what Michael Jordan was in his sport, per se. But he was meticulous in how he pursued his projects off-site. He made the most of the market ... and really changed the way sports and entertainment interface. It’s a big accomplishment.

DAILY HABIT

"I travel with two notebooks. It's a daily journaling thing I only started in the past year. One book is random ideas, things that happened to me that day. The other is "What I want to Do Next" – an inspiration book. I use both to explore how I feel."

NOTEBOOK OF CHOICE

"Smythson's. The best notebooks! I wanted to invest in the books themselves so that I'm serious about it. I hope to have a little shelf of all the notebooks one day."

COURT PHILOSOPHY

"As soon as you give them wiggle space, they can take an inch."

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