In the last of the quarterfinal matches at the BNP Paribas Masters, Milos Raonic overcame home favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets 6-2, 7-6(4). The Canadian will go up against Andy Murray, who is one win away from becoming world number one. The Brit leads their head-to-head 8-3 with Raonic coming out on top in two sets in the Cincinnati final.
Raonic eases past Tsonga
The Canadian came racing out the blocks. In the opening game, he earned a break point when a Tsonga's slice was put wide. He broke hitting a crosscourt passing shot before consolidating the break with an ace to go into an early 2-0 lead. The Frenchman's first game on the scoreboard would be a service hold to love. Just two games later, the 31-year-old was put under some pressure by Raonic. With a game point at 30-40, Tsonga's serve let him down as he fired a double-fault.
The world number 5 then attacked Tsonga's serve and earned another break point finishing the point off with a forehand winner at the net. The 25-year-old fired an aggressive backhand to which the Frenchman couldn't reach and the double-break was secured. Once again Raonic held serve and took a comfortable 5-1 lead. The world number 13 then held serve and handed Raonic the chance to serve for the opening set. The Canadian grabbed his first set point at 30-40 and after hitting the short angle on the next point, Raonic wrapped up the opening set 6-2.
Raonic wins match via tiebreaker, advances to the semifinal
Tsonga came out for the second set looking more energetic as he held serve for 1-0. In the next game, his first break points arrived, forcing the error from Raonic. Two big first serves and the game was brought to deuce before the Canadian came through his first real test on serve holding for 1-1. Just three games later, Raonic then earned his first break point of the set. He attacked the Frenchman's serve, rushed to the net and finished off the point with a volley. However, under pressure Tsonga's serve came together and the breakpoint was quickly erased as he brought the game to deuce once more.
The Frenchman won the next two points to hold serve and stay in front at 3-2. Both players then got into a rhythm on serve with Tsonga continually putting Raonic under threat. But it was the Canadian who sent the set to a deciding tiebreaker. The world number five earned a mini-break at 5-3 following a miscue from his French opposition. At 5-4 in the breaker, Raonic then produced a big first serve to set up match point. This time, a big serve out wide did the job as Raonic clinched the match and ended the Frenchman's hope of reaching the World Tour Finals.