By E.J. Crawford
This year Milos Raonic reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the French Open and his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon. If he can make it one step farther at this year’s US Open, he’ll earn a very hefty payday.
Raonic clinched his first Emirates Airline US Open Series men’s title when John Isner – the only man who could still catch him – pulled out of the Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina Thursday with an ankle injury. With the Series crown, the 23-year-old Canadian can now add up to $1 million in bonus prize money at this year’s US Open.
“It is very exciting to win the Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge before heading into the US Open,” Raonic said. “To be a North American winning it is a huge honor for me since one of my results came in my hometown of Toronto. It's a great place to be and now I'm setting my sights on having a great tournament next week in New York. It's been a lot of hard work to get to this point and I'm looking to keep improving my results at the Open.”
Behind one of the biggest serves in tennis, Raonic enjoyed a stellar summer season. He won the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., reached the quarterfinals at the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the semifinals at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
Buoyed by a new provision in this year’s Series that doubles the total for those who earn points in three or more Series events, Raonic collected a total of 280 points for the summer to outpace Isner, who finished with 200 points, and Roger Federer, who finished third with 170 points.
Serena Williams won the 2014 Series women’s title, with Angelieque Kerber locking up second place and Agnieszka Radwanska coming in third.
The 2014 US Open starts Monday, Aug. 25 and runs through Monday, Sept. 8.