Roger Federer has been supremely dominant on the tennis court for years. There are the present rivals in top-two ranked Nadal and Djokovic but tennis' future powerhouses are just beginning to surface. One of them is a 21 year-old named Milos Raonic.
Milos Raonic has competed twice with Federer this season. Once was on the hard court at Indian Wells and once on clay in Madrid. Both were close in three-set matches. Now Raonic is set to clash again with Federer for the quarterfinals in Halle at the Gerry Weber Open. This time it will be on grass. This is definitely a season for Raonic to make his mark and test his skills.
Fewer than 2 years ago, Raonic was a somewhat gangly, very quiet player at the ATP Challenger event in Aptos, CA. He didn't even make an impression there other than he seemed to move around the court like it was small and he had a style that was very reminiscent of a more advanced player. It was like he was practicing for the top-20 on the ATP ranking. As they always say, how you practice is how you play. It didn't take him that long to play well and to get ready to crack the top 20. He currently is ranked 21st.
The chance to play Federer on grass as a warm-up for Wimbledon is exactly what Raonic needs. It has been almost a year since his slip on grass at Wimbledon resulting in hip surgery and months of rehabilitation. He has proved he is back in shape and ready in 2012 to establish his name on grass. He definitely wants to play well on grass as he has on hard court and clay. A Federer - Raonic match in Halle will be the match to see and it will let Raonic know exactly where he stands on grass. That's the best warm-up for Wimbledon.
Raonic is younger than any player ranked higher than him on the ATP pro tour. He is someone to watch and the Gerry Weber Open would be a great place to start.