A resurgent Milos Raonic set up a semi-final showdown with Juan Martin del Potro at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Friday.
Raonic advanced to the semi-finals with a 7-5 2-6 6-3 win over Sam Querrey, while Del Potro came through 3-6 6-3 6-4 against Philipp Kohlschreiber.
The 27-year-old Raonic, who shut down his 2017 season prematurely due to injury, is finding his groove again and picked up just his fourth match win of the year against the 18th-seeded American.
Canadian Raonic, the 2016 finalist in Indian Wells, blasted 17 aces and broke Querrey’s serve three times on his way to victory.
“I stuck to my guns and I tried to play to my identity,” 32nd seeded Raonic told Sky Sports. “As frustrating as it may be, overall in the big pictures I’m happy to be on the court and happy to be able playing many matches in a row now so I’ve got to take it for what it is.
“It’s been a good experience this week, so far, but it’s not done by any means. I’ve got to keep even harder in the next one.
“As much as it’s been a joy, it’s been a relief, because I haven’t been here in a while. I haven’t been playing that much tennis, definitely not at this level, so it’s a relief that things are coming together and that takes a little bit off my shoulders.”
Juan Martin del Potro came through against Philipp Kohlschreiber
He will play world No 8 and 2013 runner-up Del Potro after the giant Argentine battled past 31st seeded German Kohlschreiber to reach his 11th Masters 1000 semi-final of his career and first since Shanghai last year.
Del Potro is the second-highest seed remaining in the competition behind No 1 Roger Federer and extended his winning run to nine successive matches after winning his first title of 2018 in Acapulco earlier this month.
“I was very calm during the whole match and the key was to keep fighting and waiting for my chances at the end of the match,” Del Potro told Sky Sports. “Mentally I’m fine, I’m so glad with my level of tennis. Physically, I need to recover my body after playing a lot of matches in a row but I’m in good shape and excited about playing in the semi-finals.”
And looking ahead to his clash with Raonic, he added: “I have to return well and play a smart game. Milos is a tough opponent and has the condition to win the tournament.”
You can watch the semi-finals of the ATP Masters 1000 from Indian Wells on Sky Sports Arena from 6pm this Saturday with the final at 8pm on Sky Sports Arena & Sky Sports Main Event on Sunday.
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