Canadian Milos Raonic lost a chance to play a second Grand Slam semifinal after losing 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-2 to Novak Djokovic on Wednesday at the Australian Open.
The eighth seed, from Thornhill, Ont., was beaten by the top seed and world No. 1 for the fifth time in their career series. Djokovic beat the 24-year-old Raonic three times in 2014, including in a French Open quarter-final.
Raonic, the 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist, ended with a modest 14 aces in the match that lasted two hours.
Raonic, who never earned a break point while losing his own serve three times, recorded 31 winners to go with 36 unforced errors.
"I wish I would have served better in certain moments, but I didn't lose because of my serve," said Raonic. "He just didn't allow me to organize my game."
Raonic said that by the end of the match, Djokovic was doing a good job of playing deep and never allowing him to move forward.
"He was pretty much on the baseline the whole time and I was further back. I just could not get my organization, figure out my patterns and play on my terms."
Raonic, who is now 0-5 against world No. 1 opponents, leaves Melbourne with a record of 14-5, making this his most successful major by the numbers.
The pair took 55 minutes to play their opening set on the Rod Laver Arena as the opener went into a tiebreaker. Djokovic sent over his fifth ace for a 5-3 lead and eventually converted on a third set point.
The top seed quickly consolidated, breaking to start the second set, a margin which held up as the Serb swept the second set for a solid two-set lead.
It was the same story in the third set for Raonic, whose big game was neutralized by a fluid Djokovic attack. The Serb broke twice for a lead after Raonic saved a break point with his 14th ace.
Djokovic closed out victory on his second match point after a double-faults on the first. The win was his tenth without a loss against Canadian opponents.
Serena wins, Venus out
Djokovic will face defending champion Stan Wawrinka in the semifinals. The fourth-seeded Swiss dispatched No. 5 Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (8) in their quarter-final match.
The other semi pits No. 6 Andy Murray of Great Britain against No. 7 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
On the women's side, top seed Serena Williams advanced to the semis with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Dominika Cibulkova. She will face unseeded fellow American Madison Keys, who defeated Serena's sister Venus Williams 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
No. 2 Maria Sharapova meets No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova in the other semi.