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Raonic Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary With Sleeve


Some players build bonds with their gear.

Ivan Lendl popularized the ultra-wide sweat bands during his days as No. 1. Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario rocked the ball holder in the back of her skirt, Lleyton Hewitt was one of the first top players to sport the backward baseball cap and then there's the shared Roger and Rafa devotion to the swoosh headband.

Video: Rafa Sets Sights on Improving Mental Game

Make room for Milos Raonic and his trademark sleeve.

The fifth-seeded Canadian celebrated his one-year anniversary wearing the sleeve, smacking 20 aces to edge Jeremy Chardy, 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (3) to advance to the Miami Open round of 16.

The sleeve isn't a superstition, it's a comfortable cover-up Raonic said.

"It's a comfort thing at this point," Raonic said. "I started wearing it last year here because I had a bad reaction in the sun so I had to cover up my arm. They told me to cover my arm with sleeves. That something I wasn't too keen on. Watching basketball players playing with that kind of support, because I love basketball, I came up with that idea. It stuck around since."

The rock-solid relationship between Raonic and his right arm ally has lasted longer than many player-coach partnerships.

"It's been a year, and I don't think I have skipped playing a match with it," Raonic said.

While Raonic has a comfortable relationship with the sleeve, he insists if the sleeve was stolen or simply tired of life on Tour, he'd play just fine without it.

"I think I'd be fine if somebody stole my sleeve I wouldn't be, you know, panicking," Raonic said. "I think I'd be finewithout it. Just a comfort thing. It's something I feel comfortable with. Especially now on the right arm, when it's humid like it is here, rarely do you get sweat on the hands."

Interestingly, Raonic isn't the first player to sport the one-sleeved look.

One of the originators is still alive in the Miami draw.


Martina Hingis

Former world No. 1 Martina Hingis rocked the one-sleeved shirt back in the days when she was an adidas endorser.

Hingis, who now wears her own Tonic tennis brand, and partner Sania Mirza have reached the Miami Open quarterfinals after winning the BNP Paribas Open title in Indian Wells last week.

The Hall of Famer now sports the sleeveless look.

Photo credits: @BNPParibas Open, Getty




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