It wasn’t as though Milos Raonic was limping around on Court Rainier III as he tried to get past Andy Murray and reach the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters.
But he clearly wasn’t himself after two marathon matches and a recurrence of the right adductor problem that has popped up like a badly-timed foot fault all season long.
And so the 6-2, 6-0 loss to Murray was a surprise only in terms of the score, and the fact that it took barely an hour to complete.
It was just another unfortunate turn of events against the world No. 2, who was the beneficiary of Raonic’s adductor issues in the Australian Open semi-finals when the Canadian led two sets to one, but was unable to close it out.
Murray basically toyed with Raonic, who looked cumbersome throughout and just didn’t have the aggressiveness required to make a match out of it with Murray.
Under perfect circumstances, the Scot is not a great matchup for Raonic; the Canadian’s go-to groundstrokes (inside-out forehand, crosscourt backhand) both to go Murray’s backhand, which is by far his stronger wing and arguably among the very best in the game.
He has beaten him, but it has been more than two years and Murray came out playing top tennis from the first point Friday after struggling through his first two matches.
Raonic had zero aces, and served only at a 51 per cent clip. So that wasn’t going to get it done. He never earned a break point on Murray’s serve, won just 11 points in the second set and just one of nine points on his second serve in that set.
On the plus side, he defended his quarter-final effort from a year ago in Monte Carlo. In fact, he should move up one spot to No. 11 in the new rankings on Monday, jumping past Marin Cilic of Croatia.
Raonic is not not scheduled to play another tournament until the Madrid Masters the first week of May.
So he has two full weeks to manage the adductor before back-to-back Masters 1000-level tournaments, and then the French Open.