Raonic joins Djokovic in last four

Updated: 

Milos Raonic booked his place in the ATP World Tour Finals last four with a straight-sets victory over Dominic Thiem in Group Ivan Lendl.

The Canadian progresses to the semi-finals at the end-of-season tournament for the first time thanks to a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 win.

Victories over Gael Monfils and now Thiem see Raonic go into the last four full of confidence, joining Novak Djokovic in qualifying from the Lendl group.

Both Raonic and Thiem could have progressed to the latter stages with victory in Thursday's encounter, but the latter was made to rue costly errors at vital times as his debut came to an early end.

The opening set saw Raonic's forehand falter, however he was able to stay in the contest and forced a tie-break.

He was then abandoned by his normally reliable serve before finding his rhythm to move ahead, a piercing forehand getting the set point and a huge ace completing the job.

Thiem had been competitive with a string of crisp groundstrokes but a backhand error at the start of the second gave Raonic the first break of the match - an advantage he never looked like letting slip.

He wasted a further two chances in the third game to bolster his advantage but it mattered little, Raonic easing into the last four with his second break as a Thiem backhand found the net.

Victory takes Raonic into third in the projected ATP rankings but Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori will hope to challenge him for that when they resume on Friday in Group John McEnroe.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Raonic [4] bt Thiem [8] 7-6 (7-5) 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 

Raonic - 31/14
Thiem - 17/18

ACES 

Raonic - 14
Thiem - 4

BREAK POINTS WON 

Raonic - 2/6
Thiem - 0/0

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 

Raonic - 64
Thiem - 55

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 

Raonic - 86/62
Thiem - 67/54

TOTAL POINTS 

Raonic - 75
Thiem - 60