Giant killer Goffin to face Raonic in Indian Wells semis

INDIAN WELLS (United States) • Belgian David Goffin continued his giant-killing run at Indian Wells as he stormed into the last four of tennis' BNP Paribas Open with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 upset over former US Open champion Marin Cilic on Thursday.

A day after ousting third seed Stan Wawrinka, Goffin battled through to his first Masters 1000 semi-final where he will meet Canadian Milos Raonic, a 7-5, 6-3 winner over Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Goffin saved 11 of 12 break points against the tall Croatian Cilic, before sealing the win in just over 11/2 hr and declared himself ready to take on another big server.

"It's good that in tennis you can find some solution against big players like Marin or Milos or (John) Isner," the 25-year-old, who has won two ATP titles, said.

"Maybe I'm quicker. I think I can take the ball earlier. I have other weapons. That's why tennis is a nice sport.

"I'm really happy with the way I managed the important points... it was the key of the match, to win the first set and to be more relaxed in the second."

Raonic pounded out 10 aces to reach the semi-finals at Indian Wells for the second straight year.

"I did things well. I created opportunities for myself," the 12th seed said.

"I served well and when I did get myself in trouble, I felt like it was me forcing the game. Those kind of things are positive and I stuck to it and it came together."

The Canadian was sidelined last month with a groin injury that ended his run in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. But he is fully fit now and ready to take on Goffin.

"He's playing well," said Raonic. "If I do the right things I can give myself a chance. I think I have shown that this year, and I hope I can keep showing that."

In the women's tournament, Victoria Azarenka barely broke a sweat as the former world No. 1 routed Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova 6-0, 6-0 to reach the semi-finals.

"I started well. I was really aggressive," said two-time Grand Slam winner Azarenka, who delivered the first double bagel in Indian Wells since 2014 when Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska hammered Annika Beck in the round of 32.

There have been nine double bagels in the women's draw in Indian Wells, with Russian star Maria Sharapova being involved in the most noteworthy when she was beaten 6-0, 6-0 by Lindsay Davenport in the semi-finals in 2005.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2016, with the headline 'Giant killer Goffin to face Raonic in Indian Wells semis'. Print Edition | Subscribe