Milos Raonic through to semi-finals in Indian Wells; Belinda Bencic continues stunning form
Raonic improves to 19-4 at Indian Wells since 2014
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 15/03/19 1:43pm
Milos Raonic dispatched lucky loser Miomir Kecmanovic to reach the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Thursday.
Kecmanovic, a 19-year-old Serb ranked 130th in the world, became the first lucky loser to reach the quarter-finals at Indian Wells since 1990, but 2016 runner-up Raonic completed a 6-3 6-4 success to move through.
The 13th-seeded Canadian will face Dominic Thiem for a place in the final after the seventh seed's quarter-final opponent Gael Monfils said he was unable to play due to an injured Achilles.
"In a few key moments my serve really helped me out," said Raonic, who reached the semis for the second year in a row. "I just tried to play consistent, be aggressive when I had the first chance."
Raonic has defeated Thiem in their two previous meetings, both of which came on hard courts in 2016.
Belinda Bencic upset fifth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-3 4-6 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the women's event and ensure that she will return to the top 20 in the WTA rankings on Monday.
The 22-year-old Swiss was coming off a straight-set upset of defending champion and top-ranked Naomi Osaka in the fourth round and improved to an impressive 18-3 this year, including 12 wins on the spin.
"I wouldn't believe I win today again," Bencic said. "I'm not going to the court with any expectation. I'm just trying to play. This is the mentality I have, and this is the mentality I'm going to keep having.
"When you're confident, you can really just trust your instincts and you don't have to think about it at all. I'm definitely playing how I feel it, and it's going well so I'm not planning on changing that."
Belinda Bencic has won 10 of her last 13 matches vs. Top 5 opponents.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) March 14, 2019
She has now won her last 6 meetings against Top 10 opponents, 4 of which came vs. Top 5 players:
d. Osaka (IW)
d. Halep (Dubai)
d. Kvitova (Dubai)
d. Pliskova (IW)
Will return to the Top 20 on Monday.
Bencic, who won her third career title at Dubai last month and her first since 2015, next plays Angelique Kerber after the German defeated veteran Venus Williams 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.
"She changed the rhythm a little bit," Kerber said. "Going for it when she put the lob ones and the high ones and the short ones. In the first set I was moving everywhere and when I have the chances to move her."
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