Raonic & Thiem Into Indian Wells Semifinals

Milos Raonic ended the dream run of Miomir Kecmanovic in the Indian Wells quarter-finals. Reuters

Raonic produced 13 aces in his 6-3, 6-4 win over Serbian teenager Miomir Kecmanović reach his second consecutive Indian Wells semi-final.

Raonic will face No. 7 seed Dominic Thiem in a semifinal on Saturday after No. 18 seed Gael Monfils of France withdrew from his quarterfinal against the Austrian, leading to a walkover on Thursday night.

In the women's singles, Belinda Bencic beat fifth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the semis, ensuring her return to the top 20 in the rankings.

An error-prone Venus Williams lost 7-6 (3), 6-3 to No. 8 Angelique Kerber in a matchup of 30-somethings.

Just as he was playing lights-out tennis, Gaël Monfils's body let him down again. Bencic has now won 15 of her last 17 matches overall and has won seven straight matches that have gone the distance. She tried to change the rhythm a lot.

Mari Osaka, a year-older than her 21-year-old sister who has shot to the top of the rankings thanks to back-to-back Grand Slam titles at the U.S. and Australian Opens, has twice played in WTA doubles made draws, most recently with Naomi at the 2017 Toray Pan Pacific Open.

Despite Williams' tenacity to force a tie-break, the German took the initiative by winning the first three points and sealing the first set in 57 minutes.

Raonic has had success at this tournament, having made at least the quarter-finals in his last five appearances.

Bencic showed no sign of a let-down after her fourth-round victory over world number one and defending champion Naomi Osaka, out-lasted Czech Pliskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. In the third, she overcame a break point to hold at 2-all but only won one more game the rest of the way.

"Physically, it was tough somehow, and the wind didn't help much", Pliskova said.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Kerber meanwhile reached the Indian Wells semi-finals for the third time with her win over Williams in a battle of former world number ones. "So my serve was bad, my shots were bad". "I have this pain, and it wasn't the right choice to play".

"When you're confident, you can really just trust your instincts and you don't have to think about it at all", Bencic said.



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