Raonic knocks out Nadal to join Wawrinka in Brisbane semis
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[January 06, 2017]
(Reuters) - Defending champion
Milos Raonic beat former world number one Rafa Nadal in three sets
on Friday to reach the Brisbane International semi-finals.
The big-serving Canadian blasted 50 winners, including 23 aces, to
overcome the Spaniard 4-6 6-3 6-4 and set up a last-four clash with
seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov.
Returning from a wrist injury, Nadal took the first set but momentum
swung at 3-3 in the second when Raonic claimed four straight games.
Raonic capitalized on an early break in the decider and served out
to book a semi-final against Dimitrov who beat Austrian Dominic
Thiem 6-3 4-6 6-3.
"It was a great match tonight and I'm very happy with myself, how I
competed against such a great player and competitor as Rafa," Raonic
said in a courtside interview.
Raonic fired down 19 more aces than Nadal.
"That's six games I got for myself without having to run too much,
which is very generous of myself," he added.
Nadal, returning to the tour this week after injury, struck 19
winners as he continued his preparations for this month's Australian
"He was more aggressive than me... but I take the positive. It was a
small difference," said the Spaniard who had added former world
number one Carlos Moya to his coaching team last month as he seeks
to revive his career following a spate of injuries.
World number four Stan Wawrinka survived aggressive hitting from
Briton Kyle Edmund before winning 6-7(2) 6-4 6-4 in another
[to top of second column]
Canada's Milos Raonic hits a shot during his match against Spain's
cruised through the first set tiebreak before Wawrinka, making his
Brisbane debut, raised his game to beat the world number 51.
Swiss Wawrinka will meet Kei Nishikori in the semis after the
Japanese third seed's 6-1 6-1 win over local favorite Jordan
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Ed Osmond)
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