Raonic to face Thiem in Indian Wells semifinals

Published by AP / Tennismash

Milos Raonic (L) will face Dominic Thiem for a place in the Indian Wells final. Raonic leads the head-to-head 2-0 (Getty Images)
Dominic Thiem progresses to the semifinals at Indian Wells after opponent Gael Monfils withdraws from their match; the Austrian will next meet Milos Raonic, who won earlier on Thursday.

Milos Raonic made sure Miomir Kecmanovic’s good luck finally ran out in Indian Wells.

Raonic beat the 19-year-old Serb 6-4 6-3 on Thursday to reach the semifinals and improve to 19-4 at the ATP tournament since 2014.

There he will face Dominic Thiem, who did not have to hit a ball in the quarterfinals when in-form opponent Gael Monfils withdrew ahead of thier clash, citing an Achilles problem.

“I tried to warm up, and my left Achilles was very painful,” Monfils told the crowd in an on-court interview.

“This morning it was really tough for me (to) run 100 per cent. Tonight I tried to hit a little bit, and I cannot compete like 100 per cent tonight. I’m so sorry guys … I would like to thank you for everything you give me this week.”

Raonic fired 13 aces against no double faults in putting away Kecmanovic in 72 minutes on a sunny, windy and cool day in the Southern California desert.

NEWS: in-form Bencic through to Indian Wells semifinals

Kecmanovic was the first lucky loser to reach the quarterfinals at the tournament since it became a Masters 1000 event in 1990.

Ranked 130th in the world, the Serb lost in qualifying but his fortune soon turned. Three seeded players withdrew before the tournament began, clearing the way for him to become a lucky loser and receive a first-round bye.

The teenager certainly made the most of it, getting by three players including 30th-seeded Laslo Djere in straight sets to set up his second meeting with Raonic.

That’s where Kecmanovic’s luck ended.

Raonic won 88 per cent of his first-serve points and saved all three break chances against him.

He takes a winning 2-0 head-to-head record into his semifinal against Thiem, having won their previous meetings at the ATP Finals of 2016, and the Cincinnati Masters earlier that season.

Raonic is seeking his first ATP title in more than three years.

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