Raonic put in a display full of effort and desire in his first major final but against the world No2 he was ultimately well beaten. The Scot required two hours and 48 minutes to record a 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 victory against the 25-year-old on Centre Court and, in turn, secured his second Wimbledon title.
The Canadian’s main strength is his serve, which he displayed to great effect in his semi-final win against Roger Federer on Friday, but it was all but neutered by Murray here – the Canadian served only eight aces, compared with an average of 22.8 in his previous six matches during this tournament – and while he did serve the joint second fastest serve in Wimbledon history during the second set, coming in at 147mph, it was telling that Murray returned it and went on to win the point.
“I did the best I could,” Raonic said, after his seventh career defeat by Murray and his fourth this year, having lost against the world No2 in the Australian Open semi-finals, the Monte Carlo quarter-finals and the Queen’s Club final. “I tried coming forward, putting pressure on him, but he was playing much better than me. He moves incredibly well. He returns well. I took care of my serve as much as I could. I needed to find a way to be more efficient on returning but I put together what I could. It just didn’t work out.”
Raonic had an opportunity to turn the tide of the contest when he led 40-15 on Murray’s serve in the fifth game of the then tied third set. But the 25-year-old failed to take either of the break points and Murray held to go 3-2 up. “That was probably the most clear look I had,” Raonic said. “I could have gotten ahead there, maybe I could have turned it around. That was definitely my biggest opener.”
Despite failing in his bid to become the first Canadian to win a grand slam title, as well as the first sixth seed to win Wimbledon since Michael Stich in 1991, Raonic can look back with much pride at his efforts over the past two weeks, most notably that epic five-set win against Federer. And having now reached a first slam final – and secured a £1m runner-up prize in the process – having previously reached two semi-finals, here in 2014 and in Melbourne at the start of the year, when he took Murray to five sets – he has the clear intention to go one better.
“I’m going to work on everything to win a grand slam,” Raonic said. “I’m not going to leave any stone unturned. I’m going to try to get myself back in this position, try to be better in this position.
“I’m going to try and get fitter, stronger, improve my return game, improve my serve. Improve my efficiency coming forward. There’s not one thing that I’m not going to try to improve.”
The world No7’s focus now switches to the Rogers Cup in Toronto this month, prior to representing Canada at the Rio Olympics in August.Raonic also confirmed that he intends to speak to John McEnroe with regard to the American remaining part of a coaching team that also includes the Spanish grand slam winner Carlos Moya.
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