Milos Raonic of Canada fought back gallantly saving three match points in the second set tie-break against the third ranked Spaniard Rafael Nadal to fill up the last remaining spot in the semi-finals of the Indian Wells ATP 1000 by BNP Paribas. He joins the the three time champion Novak Djokovic who is also the defending champion, four time winner Roger Federer and Andy Murray thus preventing a clean sweep by the BIG FOUR who last entered the semi-finals at the 2012 Australian Open.
The line-up with my pick mentioned first :-
Andy Murray (4) v. Novak Djokovic (1)
Roger Federer (2) v. Milos Raonic (6)
The sixth seeded Raonic fired 19 aces and saved six of his seven break-points in the two hour 58 minute quarter-finals, broke Nadal’s serve for the only time to go up 5-6 in the third set and then served out the match at 15 to register his first win in six attempts against the three time champion. The upset win set up a semi-final against Federer who earlier in the day made short work of Tomas Berdych as he won in 68 minutes, 6-4,6-0. Federer who finished runner up to Djokovic last year never faced a break point on his serve and improved his head to head record to 13-6 against the Czech who was ninth seeded here.
Federer who became the only player in history to record 50 match wins at Indian Wells when he won his fourth round match against American Jack Sock leads Raonic 8-1 in their career head to head, the only time that the Canadian beat the Swiss was in the quarter-final of the Bercy ATP last year where he lost to Djokovic in the final. Raonic has advanced to the quarter-final pr better at eight of his last ten ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, a feat only matched by Federer in that period.
Andy Murray surpassed Tim Henman’s tally of 496 match wins and became the most successfull British player in Open Era since 1968 when he defeated another Spanish left hander Feliciano Lopez on Thursday in straight sets. The fourth seed now plays the top ranked Djokovic who got a walk-over from the Australian Bernard Tomic who could not step on the court as he attended to dental problems. Murray last defeated Djokovic to claim his maiden Wimbledon crown in July 2013. Djokovic beat Murray to claim his fifth Australian Open crown on February 1 this year in the last meeting between the two, leads the head to head 16-8 which also includes eight out of the last nine matches.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]