He’s the finest male singles tennis player in Canadian history, with a serve some say is currently the best in the world. And when Milos Raonic of Thornhill played at the Davis Cup World Group quarter-finals in April, it was this country’s first competition at that level. The 22-year-old’s victory meant another first: Canada’s attendance at September's Davis Cup semifinals. Among the world’s Top 20 players, the six-foot-five Raonic has generated tennis pride in this country while inspiring a crew of superb younger players. In Ace: How Tennis Star Milos Raonic Served His Way to the Top, award-winning Toronto Star writer Oakland Ross teases out the physical attributes, personal characteristics and family dynamics that have made Raonic a force in the sport. A tennis player himself, Ross brings uncommon insight to Canada’s best hope for racquet dominance.
Oakland Ross is a feature writer for the Toronto Star. A tennis enthusiast nearly all his life, Ross grew up with a tennis court —a homemade affair with an improvised gravel surface — in his parents’ backyard. Nowadays, he is regarded as an enormously gifted player by those he can beat and that klutz-with-a-stick by those he can’t. The winner of two National Newspaper Awards, Ross has written four books, including a collection of short stories, a travel memoir and two novels, the second of which was published in April 2013 by HarperCollins Canada. It’s called The Empire of Yearning.