Ruthless Raonic takes Canada into final four at Melbourne

Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:34am EST
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By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A clinical Milos Raonic stormed past Gael Monfils 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 under the closed roof at Rod Laver Arena to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the first time on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old negated the Frenchman's mobility with his powerful serve and fierce forehands to become the first Canadian man to reach the last four at Melbourne Park.

Playing indoors as he has for much of his life growing up in Canada, the Montenegro-born 13th seed needed only a single break in the first, third and fourth sets to earn the victory.

"It's an amazing feeling, tennis is growing very quickly in Canada and to be a big part of it is an honor," Raonic said.

"I just said to myself 'just keep creating opportunities'. I thought I played some great tennis, whether indoors was a factor I don't know, it definitely gave my mind some peace."

Monfils, at 25th in the world the lowest ranked player in the last eight, converted one of only two break points he had in the match to snatch the second set and made only 17 unforced errors.

In a contest almost bereft of long rallies, however, the 29-year-old was unable to match the power and precision of the Canadian's shotmaking.

"I think he played good. Very aggressive," said Monfils. "But it was not a bad match from me. I was just happy. I was focused, played my match point-by-point."   Continued...

Canada's Milos Raonic (R) talks with France's Gael Monfils at the net after Raonic won their quarter-final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 27, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu