Milos Raonic and the tappety-tap-tap: no, he's not practicing the piano
Milos Raonic has done a lot of things, paid attention to the smallest details, as he leaves no detail to chance in his quest to get to the top of men's tennis.
That's what it takes, because at this level, the devil is in the details.
The latest is a little routine he does on changeovers – 30 seconds, or more, or less, depending on how long it takes him to get appropriatedly fed and watered, sufficiently towelled off, or finished with whatever housekeeping duties need to be attended to.
When first asked about it at Indian Wells, Raonic sort of snarked back to the journalist asking the question.
Q. The little meditation routine when you sit down at the side, what's that all about and where did it come from?
MILOS RAONIC: I have been taking piano lessons, so I just practice on court.
Q. Is that a serious answer?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't know.
The next day, asked again, he was a LITTLE more forthcoming. Not a lot, but a little.
What does he do?
First, he sits up straight in his chair. tilted slightly forward.
Then, he puts his arms in front of him and crosses them at the wrists.
Then, he closes his eyes.
And then ... tappety-tap-tap, until they call time, or just before, or whenever he has recaptured his zen.
Sometimes his opponent will already have made his way to his side of the court, and Raonic is still sitting there tappety-tapping away.
It appears to be something similar to what is called "resource tapping." A noted clinical psychologist explains it here although (and we're not therapists, we only play them on TV), it seems the therapists are the ones doing the tapping. Raonic, obviously, can't call one to the court on changeovers.
We will give him full credit for this: if there is ANYTHING the Canadian thinks is going to help him win tennis matches, he seemingly doesn't give a rat's patootie how silly it looks – or how much people are going to have fun with it.
That's having your eye on the prize.
Then again, we probably already knew that. Example No. 1 - the sleeve.