Raonic ruins top-four party

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Published: Saturday 21st March 2015 by The News Editor

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Milos Raonic gatecrashed a party seemingly reserved for the best four players in the world by shocking Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open.

World number one Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – the Scot who is fourth in the ATP World Tour rankings – were confirmed as semi-final opponents on Thursday and second-best-in-the-world Roger Federer duly followed them into the last four with a 6-4 6-0 victory over Tomas Berdych.

Nadal would have later completed an elite quartet but the Spaniard instead fell to world number six Raonic at the end of three gruelling hours.

The sixth seed from Canada looked like he might be heading out after losing the first set inside 36 minutes but he rallied to save three match points in an epic second-set tie-break, forcing a decider.

Raonic, who fired 19 aces and saved six break points, finally ended the Spaniard’s perfect record against Canadians by earning a crucial break in the third and clinching a 4-6 7-6 (12/10) 7-5 victory.

He told atpworldtour.com: “At the moments when I was playing those match points, it didn’t really feel like match points.

“It was just like another point that I was trying to get through… (I was) just sort of going through the paces at that moment of what do I need to do now, not really signifying it as a match point.”

In Federer’s earlier meeting with Berdych, the Swiss was first to get a break point opportunity in the fifth game, only for the Czech to save it with a forehand winner.

However, Federer broke him in the seventh to go 4-3 up, and seemed to be into his groove from then on as he breezed through the second set.

Federer said: “(It’s) not just another win, but another win against a top 10 player; against Berdych, who has played me tough in recent years.”

Published: Saturday 21st March 2015 by The News Editor

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