Milos Raonic wasted no time in making a triumphant return to the tennis court on Monday at the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, ending his almost two-year hiatus with a convincing victory over Miomir Kecmanovic.
Having been sidelined due to a series of injuries since July 2021, the Canadian’s comeback in the Netherlands could not have gone smoother. Raonic delivered a commanding performance, defeating the 39th-ranked Kecmanovic with a 6-3, 6-4 victory, impressively winning 92 percent (34 out of 37) of points behind his first serve. Enhance your tennis viewing experience with attractive betting odds from Nextbet.
Expressing his joy after the emotional win at the grass-court ATP 250 event, Raonic remarked, “It’s nice to be here after almost two years now and stepping away for a long time. It’s nice to be giving it one more try and hopefully going as far as I can. I’ve put in the best effort I could, and I want to see how far it takes me.”
The Canadian tennis star also shared his appreciation for the opportunity to play in front of a crowd again. Having been unable to hit a single tennis ball for a full year, Raonic found it nerve-wracking yet fulfilling to perform in front of spectators. He jokingly added that it might have been slightly easier if he had played in an empty stadium.
The 85-minute victory marked Raonic’s 50th tour-level win on grass, symbolizing another step forward in his long journey back to form. The eight-time ATP Tour champion, who reached the final at Wimbledon in 2016, emphasized his gratitude for being able to compete again, taking each day as it comes and appreciating the opportunity to play and see how far he can go.
Next, the 32-year-old Raonic will face either Jordan Thompson or qualifier Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard in his quest to extend his successful comeback at the tournament in the Netherlands.
In other matches on Monday, Ugo Humbert and Marc-Andrea Huesler also secured straight-sets victories. Seventh-seeded Humbert, who claimed the biggest title of his career on grass at the ATP 500 event in Halle last year, defeated Jason Kubler 6-4, 6-2. Meanwhile, Huesler made a strong debut in ‘s-Hertogenbosch by upsetting eighth seed Maxime Cressy with a 6-2, 7-6(2) win. This marked Huesler’s first tour-level victory on grass, setting up a second-round match against either home wild card Gijs Brouwer or Rinky Hijikata. Get the latest updates from the world of Tennis only on Nextbet Sports.