Goran Ivanisevic would seem to have passed his trial coaching period with Milos Raonic, as the 38th-ranked Canadian has advanced to Saturday’s semifinals with his 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win over Sam Querrey, his first final four appearance since Paris 2016.
Raonic, whose season was cut short last year with a wrist injury, had hired the 2001 Wimbledon champ prior to the BNP Paribas Open in his search for a new coach that has included five in the last few years. Raonic also worked with John McEnroe and Carlos Moya in 2016, when Raonic reached the Wimbledon final. In Delray Beach last month, Raonic worked with Jonas Bjorkman, losing in the second round.
“The one thing he has done is made the objectives very clear with me and really tried to simplify things just so I can stick to the things I know how to do well and not try to overcomplicate my tennis at this moment,” Raonic said. “And when you make a decision, go for it. Don’t question it. Don’t think about the ‘What ifs.’ What should I do? What shouldn’t I do? Just stick.
“And he’s well aware. He’s come back from injury many times. Doing the things with conviction is the most important thing at first.”
They also have their culture in common as Raonic’s parents are, like Ivanisevic, from the Balkan Peninsula.
“The mentalities are the same in a lot of ways, similar to — maybe a little bit more outspoken than my parents were back home, but it’s with an ease.”
It will be the first All-American men’s doubles final in Indian Wells in 37 years on Saturday, when John Isner and Jack Sock take the court against Bob and Mike Bryan (not before 3 p.m., Stadium 1).
Isner and Sock defeated Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, 6-3, 6-2, in one semi on Friday, while the Bryans got past Pablo Cuevas and Horacio Zeballos, 7-6, 6-4.
The last All-American men’s doubles final in Indian Wells was in 1981, with Bruce Manson and Brian Teacher defeating Terry Moor and Eliot Teltscher, 7-6, 6-2.
Going into Friday night’s semifinals, Daria Kasatkina led the four remaining women having won 79.4% of her service games, a significant increase from her season average of 65.2%.
Also going in, Osaka has spent 455 minutes on court, the most of any semifinalists. By contrast, Kasatkina has spent the least at 317 minutes.