Raonic Wins Eisenhower Cup At "Rafa And Friends"
There were plenty of laughs and great points at the star-studded “Rafa and Friends” event on Tuesday night at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. But in the end, it was Milos Raonic who won the inaugural Eisenhower Cup presented by Masimo, and the $150,000 winner-take-all prize.
Rafael Nadal was joined in the Tie Break Tens event by Raonic, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, Gael Monfils, David Goffin and Taylor Fritz. The eight-man tournament had players compete in 10-point tie-break matches for each round. From on-court warm-up bikes to “Rock, Paper, Scissors” replacing the traditional coin toss, the unique format allowed players to showcase their personalities.
In first-round matches, Cilic outlasted Goffin 11-9, Raonic defeated Monfils 10-7, Wawrinka moved past Thiem 10-5 and Nadal defeated Fritz 10-8. The semi-finals had Raonic sprint past Cilic 10-3 and Wawrinka save a match point to beat Nadal 11-9. In the championship match, Raonic defeated Wawrinka 10-6 to take the title.
All ticket proceeds from the event benefitted four local charities: Masimo’s Patient Safety Movement; Eisenhower Health; Bighorn Golf Club Charities; and Family YMCA of the Desert.
“It’s always a pleasure to be able to give back to something you love,” said Cilic. “For us, it’s a simple thing to entertain the crowd, hit the ball around and try to give our best. Out of those things, we can make something great. It’s a special night to help out in a charitable way, especially for this region.”