Milos Raonic has long been known for paying a lot of attention to his hair, keeping it immaculate. But the COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of that.
There were no fans on Court 17 to watch the former World No. 3’s first-round match at the Western & Southern Open on Saturday. But people watching from home could tell that the Canadian has been growing out his locks.
When was the last time Raonic cut his hair? “Before Australia,” he said during his post-match virtual press conference. That’s seven months ago!
But the Canadian has been cautious throughout the pandemic, worrying about his parents. He saw his mother for a day and a half after the Australian Open, and he has not seen his father in 2020.
“I didn’t get a haircut. I was really cautious. We had about six people in our group — I would have gotten a haircut [if I could],” Raonic said, later adding, “My motivation was plain and simple. It’s my parents.”
Raonic is staying in private housing rather than one of the two player hotels. He also has not been spending much time with other players, staying in the private suite he received as a seeded player and only going into the locker room for a 10-minute shower after practice.
“It’s something that I’m going to continue to do. Not just here because it’s a part of the program, but [at the] French Open, Rome, whichever tournaments are coming up in the future,” Raonic said. “Whatever the conditions may be, it’s something that I have committed to and I’m prepared to follow through with.”
One thing that hasn’t changed is Raonic’s massive serve. The Canadian hit 19 aces in a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Sam Querrey, winning 87 per cent of his first-serve points. One of every two first serves he landed (38) resulted in an ace.
“I have been playing really well the last few weeks, and today I’m happy with how I dealt with a lot of things,” Raonic said. “There are a lot of things out of my control that you can’t mimic in a practice.”