|French Open 2014|
|Milos Raonic  (CAN)||vs||Novak Djokovic  (SRB)|
ScheduleTuesday, 3 June 2014 at 14:00 GMT / 15:00 UK / 19:30 IST
VenueCourt Philippe Chatrier
Many are looking forward to this quarter final clash between two giants of the game. The term 'giant' though has a different meaning to either player. Raonic for his size, and Djokovic for his stature in the men's game. Both will be meeting up on center court second up on Tuesday afternoon.
Apart from Rafael Nadal, the only other player who is making light work of his matches through the early rounds is world number two Novak Djokovic. He hasn't really been troubled so far, his only glitch, if you could call it that, was a four setter against Croatian Maran Cilic. His thumping of Jo Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round (6-1, 6-4, 6-1) should be a wake-up call to the remainder of the field left standing at the quarter final stage. Novak is a man on a mission; and that is: to win the only grand slam not currently in his trophy cabinet.
On the other hand, Raonic has been delivering some impressive statistics on court. After an opening round powerhouse display against Aussie Nick Kyrgios, he had a wee bit of a fright against Gilles Simon in the third round, and only came away with it after a tight fifth set 7-5. That he got past the tricky Frenchman was an insight as to how Milos plays these big tournaments now. He has the very good pairing of Ivan Ljubicic and Ricardo Piatti in his corner now. Ljubicic was a very good player in his day, attaining a career high ranking of 3, and now coaches Raonic from their combined home-base of Monte Carlo.
Djokovic probably of all the players on the 2014 ATP circuit, has the best form guide leading into the French Open. After bowing out early at the Australian Open (quarter final loss to Wawrinka), he's since gone on to win Indian Wells, Miami and Rome. He has a two wins over the French Open favourite Rafael Nadal, and that could be an important statistic if both make it through to the final.
Raonic is a player on the improve. He has the weapons to trouble any player on the circuit, and his current world ranking of 9 is no accident. Consistent results at the bigger tournaments should see him accrue ranking points, but he really needs to be setting his sights on semi final and finals appearances, something he is very capable of achieving. To do so will lift the profile of Canadian tennis in their homeland to unprecedented levels, as evidenced by the success of fellow Canuck Vasek Pospsil in the men's game, and Eugenie Bouchard in the women's game.
Raonic and Djokovic have met twice before, the Serbian champ winning both times. Their most recent encounter was a tight three set semi final at Rome, which included two tiebreakers. Djokovic went on to win that tournament, defeating Nadal in the final. That result, plus Djokovic's overall record should see him get home in this one, but I suspect that Raonic will keep improving his game, and very soon, he'll be knocking on the door of some very big tournaments in the near future.
My prediction is that Djokovic will get home in four sets.