Melbourne - Milos Raonic proved too good for
Frenchman Gael Monfils on Wednesday as he became the first Canadian to reach
the Australian Open semi-finals and set up a clash with Andy Murray.
The 13th seed with the powerful serve won
6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours, 17 minutes to reach what will be his second
Grand Slam semi-final after Wimbledon 2014.
Raonic also extended his unbeaten run this
year to nine matches. He has not lost at tour level since going down to Rafael
Nadal in the third round at Shanghai in October.
The purposeful and composed Canadian broke
the Monfils serve three times and hit 47 winners, 17 with his cracking
Raonic, 25, lost to Roger Federer in his
only other Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon two years ago and now gets
another opportunity against four-time runner-up Murray on Friday.
"It's a great challenge ahead of me. A
challenge that I believe I have with myself to find a solution to," Raonic
"A great fight that I am going to put
on out there with all my heart, all my effort and hopefully I can make the most
of my opportunity."
Monfils was broken in the fourth game when
his backhand was forced wide, and Raonic needed four set points before
clinching the opening set with a thumping serve.
The Frenchman made more of a contest of it
in the second set, capitalising when Raonic committed three forehand errors and
a double fault to drop serve for 4-2.
Monfils, serving big, levelled the match on
his first set point.
But the Canadian romped away with the third
set, breaking in the opening game and grabbing a two sets to one lead with a
Raonic stepped up and broke Monfils in the
fifth game of the fourth set with a net winner and cruised to victory.
Raonic's first win over the athletic
Frenchman in three meetings comes after he also enjoyed his maiden victory over
French Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the previous round.