Raonic hoping to unsettle Monfils

Canadian Milos Raonic says he plans to get swash-buckling Frenchman Gael Monfils out of his comfort zone when they meet in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

But where that zone ends is uncertain with Monfils proving he’s ready to put his body on the line after crashing to the court while diving Superman-style to reach a ball during his round-four victory.

The contrasting styles of the two will collide as they bid for a semi-final berth.

Raonic talked of process and efficiency after his fourth-round upset win over 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka, while Monfils said he relied on fight and instinct to secure his victory against Andrey Kuznetsov.

One thing the men share is impressive form.

Raonic matched his best-ever showing after making the final eight at Melbourne Park last year, while Monfils had never previously gone further than the round of 16.

Raonic, who beat Roger Federer to win the Brisbane title earlier this month, said a key to his progress was his new-found attacking mentality.

While his serve has always been known has his big weapon, he has added volleying to the artillery.

“I think what’s helped me win my first three matches here s that comfort and confidence of going forward,” the 13th seed said.

Against Wawrinka, he went to the net 83 times, winning 54 points, compared to his opponent’s 21 from 31.

“I was volleying the first volley really well; I was finishing the points,” Raonic said.

“I was putting pressure on him (Wawrinka) and was giving him a situation maybe that he wasn’t too comfortable in.”

Raonic hasn’t beaten Monfils in their two meetings but planned to take the game to the Frenchman.

“I have to make him feel uncomfortable and not let him get into his sort of playing comfort,” the 25-year-old said.

“If I can keep up with the efficiency moving forward, I’ll definitely have some opportunities.”

23-GAEL MONFILS (Fra) leads 13-MILOS RAONIC (Can) 2-0

2013 Halle, grass, R32, Monfils 6-4 6-2

2011 Stockholm, hard, SF, Monfils 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-3


Age: 29

Ranking: 25

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US9,328,600 ($A13.37 million)

Career titles: 5

Grand slam titles: 0

Career win-loss record: 351-201

Australian Open win-loss record: 21-10

Best Australian Open result: quarter-final 2016


Age: 25

Ranking: 14

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US8,878,174 ($A12.72 million)

Career titles: 8

Grand slam titles: 0

Career win-loss record: 211-103

Australian Open win-loss record: 18-5

Best Australian Open result: quarter-final 2015, 2016

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