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
"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
Although he serve-volleyed on fewer occasions than he had in his
fourth round upset of former champion Stan Wawrinka, Raonic came
forward when he needed to and won 31 of 46 points at the net.
[to top of second column]
It was with a final huge forehand for his 47th winner after two
hours and 17 minutes, however, that he set up a last four meeting
with British second seed Andy Murray.
"A great challenge ahead of me... a challenge I believe I have it
within myself to find a solution to," said Raonic, who is unbeaten
in nine matches this season.
It will be Raonic's second grand slam semi-final after his 2014
Wimbledon loss to Roger Federer, who he beat to open his season with
a title in Brisbane two weeks ago.
"I sort of just want to change that story around and give myself
another go with more experience and where I feel like I'm a better
player than I was two years ago," he said.
(Editing by John Stonestreet)
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