Wimbledon: Lost Luggage and Found Opportunities—Milos Raonic's Homage to Canada

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By Bill Simons

Tuesday, July 1st was Canada Day, and it’s been Canada Week at Wimbledon, with Eugenie Bouchard marching to her first Slam final without dropping a set, and Milos Raonic advancing to the men’s semis. With all of that in mind, Inside Tennis recently spoke to Raonic about his adopted homeland:

Can you tell us about the pluses of your family’s Canadian experience, and how it’s helped you as an ATP player? Except, of course, for Air Canada losing your luggage, what has been the downside?

Have they lost my luggage?

They did when you came to San Jose.

That’s true. Usually I hold grudges about that kind of stuff, so I’m surprised I forgot.

My family came from a situation [in Montenegro] which gave us no option. My parents were both well-educated and had an opportunity to really start thinking of opportunities for myself, my brother, and my sister.

They both got jobs on the exact same day, pretty much the first day they applied. All of those things are very fortunate. I don’t know if that would have been possible in a lot of different places in the world.

My parents speak good English now, but I don’t think [they did] back then … We had the opportunity to go from living in a tiny apartment with my grandmother there [in Montenegro] to help take care of me and my brother and sister, to having a comfortable middle-class life in a nice Toronto suburb.

All of those things built towards my brother and sister having the education they have, but also towards me being here. Canada is a big part of that. Canada gave my parents the possibility to give us that possibility.

I never really understood it until I grew up and was much older and traveled. You see what kind of things people go through to find their opportunities.

I’m able to have a much deeper appreciation for that now. It helps me out a lot on tour. You have [in Canada] a lot of different cultures that you face, Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver—anywhere, really.  It just makes the fact of travel that much easier.

Since you know how to deal with so many people and so many cultures, a lot of the difficulties that might be face Europeans coming to the U.S. or Americans going to Europe, it makes it that much easier. You don’t give it too much thought.

I don’t mind being wherever in the world I may be for however many weeks. My main objective is tennis and all of [the rest] is secondary.

That helps me out a lot, from the support I’ve gotten from Tennis Canada since I was 16 to the kind of support I get now form the general public, from sponsors, Canadian sponsors … I’m very grateful for [it]. It’s given us a lot of possibilities, and it still continues.

My parents are both very happily retired. They’re able to enjoy their grandkids … [and] traveling with me to tournaments.

I don’t think there is that kind of personal freedom in many places around the world that you can find [in Canada], as long as you work for it. If you’re ready to work for it, that opportunity will be there.  You just have to go out and take it.

QUOTEBOOK:

“What’s with the water in Canada? We have some work to do … They’re doing something right up north.”—John McEnroe

BREAKTHROUGHS ON THE GRASS: Genie Bouchard has made it into the top 10 … Aussie darling Nick Kyrgios will now be in the top 100 … Bouchard is the only woman this year to reach the semis of the first three Grand Slams.

WHEN BEING WRONG FEELS SO GOOD: Nick Kyrgios‘ mother, who’d said that her son who wasn’t good enough to beat Rafa Nadal, told the media that she was “overjoyed” that he proved her wrong.

STAN NOT THE MAN: First the Wimbledon seeding committee imposed a critical downgrade and made world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka the fifth seed. Then the threw him a scheduling curveball when then they forced both him and Andy Murray to play a day late on Monday.

USELESS FACT OF THE DAY: The celebrated practice courts at Wimbledon are called Arrangi Park because the land used to belong to the London New Zealand Club, and Arrangi is a Maori word.

MAKING A VERY QUIET POINT: Reflecting on the new young players in women’s tennis, veteran British announcer David Mercer said, “You know, they don’t make a noise, and for me that’s a big bonus.”

CHANGING OF THE GUARD: At the US Open, there were three women’s semifinalists over 30. Here at Wimbledon, Lucie Safarova was the only ladies’ semifinalist born before 1990. On the men’s side, both Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov are ’90s kids.

HEADLINES:

HUMILIATED AT FOOTIE, RUGBY, NOW MURRAY CRASHES OUT OF WIMBO (AT LEAST WE ARE CHAMPS UNTIL TIDDLYWINKS)

MURRAY BEATEN IN THE WARM UP

BEATEN BEFORE HE EVER BEGAN

AND SO ENDS ANOTHER BRITISH SUMMER OF BRITISH SPORTING

WILL I WIN EVER AGAIN? MURRAY FEAR AFTER DREAM KO

THE KING IS DEAD

THE LION TURNS INTO A PUSSYCAT

CENTRE COURT HORROR SHOW

YOU’D HAVE TO BE DIM TO BACK GRIGOR OVER ANDY

EXIT MURRAY, SHOUTING AND CURSING

FEDERER WINS SWISS DERBY

FEDERER TAKES HONORS IN DOMESTIC DUEL