The Canadian is already benefitting from the presence of the Magician in his box.
At first glance Milos Raonic and Fabrice Santoro might seem like an unlikely player-coach tandem, but a look deeper below the surface, coupled with a very successful tournament together, shows that there may be more to the pairing than meets the eye.
After his 6-3 6-4 victory over Miomir Kecmanovic, Raonic talked more about some of the positive impact that the talented Frenchman has been having.
It starts with respect.
“You can see how effortlessly he can do a lot of things, a lot of things that sort of surprise you,” Raonic told reporters. “You know, he can't blow you off the court, but he can make you feel pretty bad out there with the different rotations of spin.”
Raonic says that the relationship has instantly flown off on the right foot due to the fact that both players share a love of advance scouting and a love for breaking down tape.
“I think the most important thing where we really struck a note was that we are both very meticulous about how we go about things,” the No.13 seeded 28-year-old said. “We spent a lot of time throughout this week, together and apart, watching matches over and every again, my matches, other matches, the guys I'm playing. Something I have always been very keen on, and he approaches it the same way. I think that kind of attention to detail can only be a good thing.”
Raonic said that one of the things he has begun to work on with Santoro is finding ways to lure top players off the baseline. He was asked about using his backhand slice in rallies on Thursday and said that it has been a point of focus from Santoro.
“Everybody moves extremely well laterally,” he said. “Sometimes you can try to get glimpses of better looks by trying to bring them in a bit more. And I think that's what I was trying to do and something I'm trying to incorporate more and more into my game. Fabrice has put quite a bit of attention on it. Sometimes I do it too much, but it's a good option to have, to incorporate.”
Raonic has reached at least the semi-finals at Indian Wells in each of his last four appearances. He owns a 19-4 record in his last five appearances and will face either Dominic Thiem or Gael Monfils in Saturday’s semis.
Fabrice Santoro is out here schooling Milos Raonic 😆 pic.twitter.com/a1vtbP4PPy
— Chris Oddo (@TheFanChild) March 10, 2019
“Gaël, he's been playing well over the last couple of weeks,” Raonic said. “It's tough with him. You never really know what you're going to get. It's important to focus on yourself and make sure you take care of your things and try to execute them well.
“With Dominic, you know, you can't give him too much time. He can do a lot of good things, get ahead in the point, and start to run you around a lot if he has time to get into a point and work it.
“Both of them, it's going to be important that I'm very strict with myself and on top of it from the first shot.”