Raonic stuns Nadal, will face Federer in semis

Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:08pm EDT
 
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INDIAN WELLS, California (Reuters) - Big-serving Milos Raonic fought back from a set down and saved three match points to upset Rafa Nadal 4-6 7-6(10) 7-5 in a pulsating quarter-final at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday.

The 24-year-old Canadian's first win over Nadal in six meetings earned him a place in Saturday's semi-finals where he will face Roger Federer, who cruised through the last eight with a ruthless 6-4 6-0 demolition of Czech Tomas Berdych.

World number one Novak Djokovic will face fourth-seeded Scot Andy Murray in Saturday's other semi in a re-match of this year's Australian Open final, won by the Serb in four sets.

"I feel obviously all sorts of good," said sixth seed Raonic, who blasted 19 aces past Nadal before sealing victory in just under three hours.

"There was a lot of up and down through that match, and all I could ask of myself was just keep competing and hope to find a way. I got fortunate a few times and it worked out."

Nadal, a three-times champion at Indian Wells, broke Raonic once to clinch the opening set in 37 minutes and had further break point opportunities in the first, fifth and ninth games of the second -- all five of them saved by the Canadian.

The set went to a nerve-jangling tiebreak where Nadal squandered three match points before Raonic, playing more aggressively, finally squared the match at his third attempt when the Spaniard netted a forehand.

Both players saved further break points in the third set before Raonic broke Nadal in the 11th game when the Spaniard hit a backhand long and the Canadian advanced into the last four by comfortably holding in the 12th.

"I had more opportunities than him in the first (set), in the second and in the third too," said Nadal, who had won all eight of his previous quarter-final matches at Indian Wells. "I had a lot of chances to win.   Continued...

 
Milos Raonic (CAN) during his quarter final match against Rafael Nadal (ESP) in the BNP Paribas Oopen at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Raonic won 4-6, 7-6, 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports