Raonic continues run into semis with win over Monfils

Updated: 

Milos Raonic progressed to just his second grand slam semi-final, prevailing in four sets against Gael Monfils at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Raonic had only ever made the semis at Wimbledon in 2014, but the Canadian 13th seeded added the Australian Open to his list after triumphing 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena.

Monfils delivered the thrills and spills expected of him, but the flamboyant Frenchman never really got going consistently as Raonic beat the 23rd seed for the first time following two previous losses.

Raonic - the first Canadian man through to an Australian Open semi-final - will meet four-time runner-up and second seed Andy Murray in the final four.

Monfils was not without his chances, but was made to rue lapses in concentration early in the match at Melbourne Park.

From 40-15 up, Monfils - with a double fault not helping his cause - managed to be broken as Raonic pressed with a powerful forehand to seize the initiative before consolidating for a 4-1 lead in the opening set.

That was all Raonic - boasting a 184-25 win-loss record after winning first sets at ATP level - needed as he went on to serve out the opener at the fourth time of asking, after firing down an ace.

Monfils continued to offer up a mix of everything in the second set, namely in the fifth game after double-faulting and acing twice to hold serve.

He then broke for the first time in the match, moving 4-2 clear as Raonic's forehand went wide.

And there would be no unnecessary lapse this time around, Monfils digging himself out of a 30-40 hole to level the match.

That spurred Raonic into action, with the former world number four producing some big forehand winners - eight in total during the set - to break serve in the second game, a lead he never relinquished as he claimed the second set in 36 minutes, restoring his advantage. 

Raonic continued where he left off in the fourth after clinching the crucial break in the fifth game, which proved too much for Monfils to overcome.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Raonic [13] bt Monfils [23] 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4

ACES

Raonic - 10

Monfils - 14

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Raonic - 47/36

Monfils - 36/17

BREAK POINTS WON

Raonic - 3/8

Monfils - 1/2

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Raonic - 61

Monfils - 61

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Raonic - 84/62

Monfils - 78/50

TOTAL POINTS

Raonic - 111

Monfils - 97