Wawrinka Beats Raonic For Semis Spot

World No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka reached his first semi-final since winning the Australian Open on Thursday as he defeated Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 6-2 at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

The Swiss is through to the last four at the Monte-Carlo Country Club for the second time (2009) and goes on to face sixth seed David Ferrer, who stunned Rafael Nadal 7-6(1), 6-2. Wawrinka trails Ferrer 5-7 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but has won their past two meetings, including on clay in the 2013 Oeiras final.

The 29-year-old Wawrinka is looking to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, having twice been a runner-up – in Rome 2008 and Madrid 2013. He won his first Grand Slam championship in Melbourne in January.

Wawrinka recorded his third win in three meetings with Raonic in one hour and 31 minutes. Neither player was able to engineer a break point in the first set, which was decided in a tie-break. Raonic squandered leads of 3-0 and 5-3 as Wawrinka fought back to clinch it. The Lausanne native dominated the second set, breaking in the first and seventh games to prevail. He hit 30 winners and won 81 per cent of his first serve points.
“The match was tough,” said Wawrinka. “I think I played a great match. I was really focused on my serve to be really aggressive from the first shot, to make him move, to make him work for every ball. The match could have changed completely. He was up two times with a mini break in the tie-break. It’s never easy to play him. He’s a big server. He’s strong. He’s tough to play. He can play fast. I just think that I played a solid match.”

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