By Mike McIntyre
World No. 3 Milos Raonic continues his selection of former Grand Slam champions to his team as it was revealed on Tuesday that Richard Krajicek would be his next coach. The Wimbledon champion from 1996 will try to help Raonic attain the first Grand Slam title over the course of 2017.
The move should come as no surprise as the two previously worked together for a brief stint at the beginning of last season and Raonic asked Krajicek to come on-board following last year's French Open. At the time Krajicek had already committed to working with Stan Wawrinka in a partership that was short-lived. At the time Krajicek had the following to say about his coaching ambitions, "My goal is to after the US Open, work with a player for about 18 or 20 weeks, I don’t know which player that is going to be yet. Maybe with Stan for a few more weeks, but I have no idea.”
Krajicek has maintained an active presence on the ATP Tour since he retired in 2004. He has been the tournament director at the ABN Amro tennis tournament since that time. Similar to Raonic, he also has his own charitable foundation that seeks to engage youth in sports. That mutual interest displays another similarity between the two that goes beyond the tennis court.
On paper, the pairing of Raonic and Krajicek seems like a smart fit. Like Milos, Krajicek was known for his big serve and penchant for coming to the net which helped him to the only Slam title of his career twenty years ago.
Despite a successful 2016 that saw the Canadian reach a career-high in the rankings as well as making the first major final of his career at Wimbledon, Raonic parted ways with his coach Carlos Moya. It is evident that his strong desire to improve even further has prevented Raonic from becoming stagnant in terms of his development. He is constantly seeking ways to expedite his success at the Grand Slam level and clearly he feels that bringing Krajicek into the fold is a part of that process.