Raonic, Murray set up semi-final in Cincinnati


Grigor Dimitrov will battle for his first ATP Masters 1000 final since Toronto in 2014, after he won in the quarter-finals at the Western and Southern Open on Friday.

Dimitrov defeated Steve Johnson 7-6 (10-8) 6-2 to continue his encouraging late-season form on the hard courts, while Andy Murray dispatched Bernard Tomic 6-4 6-4.

Also making their way to the semi-finals were Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic, who accounted for Dominic Thiem and surprise package Borna Coric respectively.



Friday's best performance came from fourth seed Raonic, who was in intimidating form against the Austrian Thiem.

Raonic's serve was on song at 64 per cent, not once allowing the eighth-seeded Thiem past 40-30 when returning, and losing a mere eight points on serve.

The Canadian star fired 17 aces and lost only two points for the match on first serve, making him a tough proposition for anyone in this kind of touch, with the US Open around the corner.

Meanwhile, in the all-Croatian quarter-final, Cilic went through after only 28 minutes on court against Coric, who was forced to retire.

Despite losing the first set 6-2 and the eventual result, Coric was the youngest quarter-finalist in an ATP Masters 1000 event since Novak Djokovic in Madrid in 2006.



Murray continued his scintillating form, with his career-best 21st successive victory on Friday, defeating Tomic in straight sets.

The world number two struggled with back pain throughout the match after a tweak in the opening game, but Tomic's shot selection faltered in the critical moments.

In the other match, Dimitrov maintained his resurgent late-season form, after accounting for Johnson in straight sets.

An appearance in the final would mean Dimitrov returns to the top 20, after falling out in September last year.



The semi-final everyone will have their eyes on will be Murray against Raonic on Saturday. In preparation for the last grand slam of the year, the match between the first and fourth seeds - finalists at Wimbledon where Murray reigned supreme in July - will be a good indicator of form. Meanwhile, Dimitrov will fight Cilic for what both would consider an overdue finals appearance, after the latter lost his past eight ATP 1000 quarter-finals.