Raonic stands in Murray’s path


Milos Raonic will likely be Andy Murray’s main title rival at the season-opening Brisbane International. The big-serving Canadian looks set to be seeded second behind defending champion Murray following Tuesday’s full field announcement. The British star confirmed his entry back in August but organisers have now announced that four other top-20 players will compete in Queensland during the opening week of the ATP season. World number 13 Raonic is joined by Gilles Simon, Alexandr Dolgopolov and Kei Nishikori, while former Brisbane champion and recent Davis Cup hero Radek Stepanek is also in the field. Murray and Raonic last met in Tokyo in October when the Canadian saved two match points before winning their semi-final clash. Tournament director Cameron Pearson said: “The Brisbane International has always attracted a world-class men’s field and has done so again in 2013. “We have five top-20 players as well as a former world number one (Lleyton Hewitt) and the reigning Brisbane champion Andy Murray, who won gold at the Olympics earlier this year and captured his first Grand Slam title at the US Open during September. “This is an incredible pool of players.” The event gets under way on December 30 immediately before which Murray will play in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.