Photo by Grant Harder.
Raonic has a serve that’s been clocked at 249 kilometres an hour—the second-fastest serve ever recorded in professional tennis. It’s easy to imagine it breaking bullet-style through his opponent’s racket altogether.
Two hundred forty-nine
kilometres an hour. For the record, that’s 80 kilometres an hour faster than the hardest slapshot ever taken in the NHL. This is only one element, though, in Raonic’s skill set, and he’ll tell you as much. “I have the weapons to win,” he says while we drive through a sun-dazzled downtown Vancouver. “It’s just a matter of learning how to use those weapons.” With his cracking voice and barely a beard to shave, it’s bizarre to imagine that this 21-year-old is now the greatest tennis star in Canada’s history. He is the 25th-best player in the world. As we talk, his eyes graze up at the glass towers that slip by his window, and he leans perpetually forward in his seat, legs apart like a man on a jumping horse. Yet there’s no showmanship in his words at all; he speaks softly, if pointedly. What must it feel like to be barely able to order a beer in some parts of the world, but also know that you’re better at this one thing than nearly seven billion others?
| ©2013 NUVO Magazine Ltd.