The final four is set at the first Masters event of the season at Indian Wells. Thursday saw 5-time champion Roger Federer advance along with 21-year-old Borna Coric who is playing in his first Masters semifinal.
Today, Milos Raonic and Juan Martin del Potro both won their quarterfinal matches, both in three sets.
Raonic was locked up with California native Sam Querrey. After two very shaky sets, including a first which saw Querrey fail to serve it out at 5-4, Raonic grabbed a late break in the third then held off Querrey to serve it out and return to his third Indian Wells semifinal. The 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 victory sent the Canadian into his first Masters SF since 2016 Paris.
“I just have a personal calm at this event maybe compared to others. It’s a little bit quieter here. It’s easier to be around the tennis. You don’t have to fight through traffic to get here. You get here with ease. So I think that gives me a personal calm,” Raonic said.
“I think the conditions help. Obviously this year it’s quite a bit slower than it has been in the past, but the ball still moves through the air even though the court slows it down a bit. But it’s always bounced high. So I think there have been a lot of things that have contributed to me feeling comfortable here.”
Querrey needed this win to not only reach his first Masters semifinal but also the Top 10!
Del Potro followed and solved the drop-shot riddle of Philipp Kohlschreiber with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win, his seventh in nine tries against the German.
“It wasn’t an easy match as everybody saw. But I was waiting for my chance to find the way of the game, and I did after the first set. And then my games improved a little bit, and I found the way on my returns,” del Potro said.
“I played more aggressive with my two-handed backhands, and I played more down the line. I think that was the big key, the big change of the match.”
Del Potro, though, is down 2-1 in his head-to-head with Raonic, failing to the Canadian a year ago in the Delray Beach semifinals.
“I know Milos is another guy who can win the tournament. Roger and Coric are playing so good. So everything can happen. But I’m looking forward to winning my first [Masters] here,” del Potro said.
Both Raonic and del Potro are former Indian Wells finalists, but neither has won a Masters before. Del Potro has won his last nine matches.
In the early semifinal, Federer tries to set a personal-best start to of 17-0 as he faces the surprising unseeded Coric. Federer blew out then-teen Coric in Dubai in 2015 in their only meeting. The Swiss has won his last nine matches at Indian Wells.
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