Facing Milos Raonic for the first time, Donald Young was wowed by the Canadian's big serve.
"It's like Monopoly," Young said. "He has a bunch of 'Get out of jail free' cards."
Powered by serves that reached 231 kph and resulted in 15 aces, the second-seeded Raonic reached his first final of the season by beating Young 6-4, 7-5 at the Citi Open in Washington on Saturday.
"It's like Monopoly. He has a bunch of 'Get out of jail free' cards'' - Donald Young on Canada's Milos Raonic
Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., will face 13th-seeded Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver in the first all-Canadian final in ATP Tour history.
Pospisil won a rain-interrupted quarter-final against 10th-seeded Santiago Giraldo of Colombia, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday, then rallied to beat sixth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-5 about five hours later.
Pospisil, who teamed with Jack Sock to win the Wimbledon men's doubles title, beat Gasquet the only other time they played on tour, on a hard court in Shanghai last year.
Against Young, a left-handed American ranked 73rd, Raonic served impeccably, winning 34 of 37 first-serve points and never facing a break point.
"I did the most important thing, I took care of my serve," Raonic said.
"It's one thing to look at him, but it's another to be on the other side, receiving those things," said Young's mother and coach, Illona.
Explained Young, a 25-year-old from Atlanta: "Against a player like that, with a serve like that, it's only going to be small windows. And you have to be there to take advantage and be Johnny on the spot — and I wasn't able to do that today."
Raonic broke Young in the last game of each set.
"I'm extremely satisfied to see him playing so well on the big points so early in the hard-court season," said Raonic's coach, Ivan Ljubicic.
Still seeking his first tour title, Young was in the semifinals of an ATP tournament for the first time since 2011.
All five ATP titles for Raonic have come on hard courts. He was a semifinalist on grass at Wimbledon last month, becoming the first Canadian man to reach the final four of a Grand Slam tournament.