Australian Open: Milos Raonic advances to semifinals
Raonic to face Andy Murray in semifinal match
Canada's Milos Raonic won his quarter-final match Wednesday at the Australian Open against France's Gaël Monfils to advance to the tournament's semifinals for the first time.
Raonic, 25, from Thornhill, Ont., took the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
He will next play Great Britain's Andy Murray on Friday for a chance to move on to the tournament final. Raonic and Murray are 3-3 in head-to-head matches.
"I have a great challenge ahead of me, but I believe I can find a solution," Raonic said. "I'll put in a great effort, I can't wait to make the most of this opportunity."
In his only previous run to a Grand Slam semifinal, Raonic lost to Federer at Wimbledon in 2014.
Raonic is the first Canadian man to reach the Australian final four, and just the second Canadian to do so, after Eugenie Bouchard made it to the semifinals in 2014.
Raonic was pleased with his play and his perseverance in the four-set quarter-final win. "I had a lot of opportunities even in that set I lost," he said.
"I just said to myself keep making opportunities and hopefully they'll go my way."
Murray moves on
Murray, making his 18th trip to a Grand Slam semifinal, beat David Ferrer 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday
No. 2-seeded Murray's match with Ferrer involved plenty of long rallies. Two of them — at 27 and 31 shots in length — came during the second-set tiebreaker, and Murray lost both of those points. But the Scotsman moved out to a 4-1 lead in the third set, during which there was a brief break when the roof on Rod Laver Arena was closed due to an approaching thunderstorm.
Murray is a four-time finalist at the Australian Open. He lost the 2015 final to Novak Djokovic, who will face Roger Federer in the other semifinal on Thursday.
Angelique Kerber won five consecutive games in the second set and saved five set points to beat two-time champion Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-5 in the women's quarter-finals.
Kerber broke Azarenka's serve to end the match, hitting a cross-court backhand at the net to beat the Belarussian for the first time in seven career matches.
The No.7-seeded German will play unseeded Johanna Konta, who beat Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai 6-4, 6-1 to become the first British woman to advance to the semifinals of a Grand Slam event since 1984.
The Sydney-born Konta, who is making her debut in the main draw of the Australian Open and is ranked No. 47, beat seven-time major winner Venus Williams in the first round and reached the quarter-finals with a three-hour win over No. 21 Ekaterina Makarova, a semifinalist at Melbourne Park last year.
Konta, who has lived in Britain since she was a child and became a citizen in 2012, is the first British woman since Jo Durie at Wimbledon in 1984 to reach a major semifinal.
The other women's semi pits top seed and defending champion Serena Williams against No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska.
With files from CBC Sports