Milos Raonic remembers the early days as he prepares for Wimbledon final


Milos Raonic will step out on Centre Court on Sunday for the most glamorous occasion in tennis.

But the big-serving Canadian was not always destined for stardom.

He recalled first taking up the sport in Toronto, saying: "My earliest memories were when I tried out for this coach, Casey.

"I wasn't good enough to be in the programme then. I was just short of nine years old. Me and my father started on the ball machine every morning at six and nine at night, because that's when court fees were affordable enough for us.

Milos Raonic will face Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final on Sunday
(Ben Curtis/AP/PA)

"That's when they gave us a deal. I remember that ball machine pretty well.

"I wouldn't stop for two hours. I wouldn't take any steps. I was very lazy. I would hit tennis balls from the standing position for two hours. (My father) would walk around and keep filling up the machine so I wouldn't have to stop."

On the menu today

Serena Williams will attempt to equal Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 slam singles titles
(John Walton/PA)

Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber will reprise their Australian Open final clash on Centre Court. Victory for Williams would finally see her equal Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 grand slam singles titles, having got to 21 at Wimbledon 12 months ago.

Who's toast today?

Serena Williams will join up with sister Venus for the women's doubles decider against Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova
(Anthony Devlin/PA)

Williams has not one but two finals to contest on Saturday and will join up with sister Venus for the women's doubles decider against Hungary's Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan. Winning titles together is even more important to the sisters than separately, so expect them to add yet more silverware to their collection.

Haven't we met before?

Angelique Kerber overcame Serena Williams in the Australian Open final back in January
(Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/PA)

If anyone knows how to upset Williams in a grand slam final it is Kerber. The German played the match of her life to beat her opponent at the Australian Open in January, and the question is can lightning strike twice? Kerber, now the world number four, has been in impressive form so far this tournament and her superb defence could be the perfect antidote to Williams' blistering attack. Williams, however, will be ready this time and she will be eager for revenge.

The best of British

Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen are through to the mixed doubles semi-finals
(Anthony Devlin/PA)

As Andy Murray rests up ahead of his final on Sunday, British eyes can turn to the mixed doubles semi-finals where Heather Watson looks to continue her excellent run with Finland's Henri Kontinen. They play second on Court One against Austrian Oliver Marach and Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko. In the final of the wheelchair doubles, British pair Alfie Hewett and Australian Open champion Gordon Reid take on French duo Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer in the first match on Court 17.

Centre Court order of play

Williams v Kerber; Pierre-Hugues Herbert & Nicolas Mahut v Julien Benneteau & Edouard Roger-Vasselin; Babos & Shvedova v Serena & Venus Williams.