Wimbledon 2016: Andy Murray must combat Milos Raonic power

By Andy BurkeBBC Scotland
Andy Murray, Milos Raonic
Andy Murray defeated Milos Raonic in five sets in the Australian Open semi-final earlier this year
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Andy Murray will play in his third Wimbledon final on Sunday and his 11th final across all four Grand Slams.

In his previous 10 major finals the man across the net was either Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer, but not this time.

To claim his second Wimbledon crown Murray will have to overcome Milos Raonic, who toppled Federer over five sets in the last four.

BBC Scotland looks at the man standing between Murray and Wimbledon glory.

Canadian power

Similar to Murray's semi-final opponent Tomas Berdych, Raonic possesses enormous power in his serve, something Federer struggled to deal with as first-serves of up to 140mph were raining down on him.

The Canadian is currently ranked number seven in the world, but was as high as four last year. No mean feat in this golden age of men's tennis.

Wimbledon 2016: Milos Raonic stuns Roger Federer in epic semi-final

Raonic, 25, is appearing in his first Grand Slam final. He made the last four of Wimbledon in 2014, losing to Federer in straight sets.

He also made the semi-finals of this year's Australian Open, losing to Murray.

Head-to-head: Murray v Raonic

The head-to-head record between Murray and Raonic is 6-4 in the Scot's favour.

Their most recent meeting was in the final at Queen's three weeks ago. The world number two prevailed in three sets, but it is one that Raonic feels he let slip away.

He was a set and 3-0 up in the best of three sets match, only to allow Murray back into the match to claim a record fifth Queen's Club title.

Murray wins record fifth Queen's title

Murray will be encouraged by the recent record between the two. He's won the previous five meetings, with his last defeat to Raonic coming at Indian Wells in March 2014.

They have met twice in Grand Slams, with Murray prevailing in three sets in the last 16 of the 2012 US Open, and edging a tough five-set encounter in Melbourne in January.

Two legends renew rivalry

An intriguing sideshow to Sunday's main event will be the renewing of the rivalry between two of the game's legends - Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe.

Lendl returned to Murray's camp ahead of Queen's after taking a 27-month break from working with the Scot. The Czech was Murray's coach when he claimed his only major titles to date - the 2012 US Open and Wimbledon in 2013.

John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl
John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl were great rivals as players and now are coaching the two Wimbledon finalists

McEnroe joined the Raonic team as a consultant around the same time as Murray's reunion with Lendl. A three-time Wimbledon champion as a player, he appears to have inspired the Canadian to take his game to another level.

Lendl and McEnroe were contenders for tennis' biggest prizes throughout the 1980s, Lendl winning eight Grand Slam titles to McEnroe's seven.

They did, however, meet just once at Wimbledon, McEnroe winning the 1983 semi-final in straight sets.

Murray on Raonic

"There's no doubt Milos Raonic will be a very tough final opponent, after all he beat Roger Federer on Centre Court to get there.

"Milos returns well and is good off the ground, but it's pretty obvious that he has one of the best serves out there, so my returning will be key.

Highlights: Murray storms to third Wimbledon final

"It's not just by chance that I'm good at returning. I've practised it a lot and still work on it all the time to make sure it's good.

"However well I return, opportunities will probably be few and far between on Sunday and I need to be ruthless."

Raonic on Murray

"We played in the final at Queen's a few weeks ago and I told him 'I hope I get a rematch a few Sundays from now'.

"He does a lot of things well. I think the biggest challenge for me, which is the thing I don't want to repeat from Queen's, is that I got sucked into his game. I didn't play on my terms and that's going to be the most important thing for me."

Milos Raonic
Milos Raonic's tweet after his epic five-set semi-final win over Roger Federer

The pundit's view - Former Wimbledon champion Lindsay Davenport

"I watched Raonic play Federer and saw a number of serves at 140mph, but Andy is one of the best returners. He figures out a way, especially over the course of a five-set match, to make returns and to put the ball in uncomfortable positions, especially for top players.

"I think the addition of Lendl has really got him sparked up and super confident, believing in himself again. Over the course of three out of five sets, especially with the crowd, I think Murray's going to get it."