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2019 Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open Semifinals: Dominic Thiem vs Milos Raonic, Preview and Prediction

ANALYST
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668   //    15 Mar 2019, 17:21 IST

Raonic and Thiem at 2016 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
Raonic and Thiem at 2016 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem, two players who have had an underwhelming 2019 season so far, will clash in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

The two have faced each other twice in the past, and Thiem is yet to take a set off Raonic so far. Both those matches in 2016 were on hard courts, as would be their semifinal clash at Indian Wells.

Neither has had a great season coming into the tournament. The Austrian world number eight went down in the second round to Alexei Popyrin at the Australian Open. Thereafter, he entered the Argentina Open as the top seed, but bowed out in the semifinal stage to Diego Schwartzman. He had another failure when he lost in the round of 32 to Laslo Djere at the Rio Open.

But he seems to have found some form at the BNP Paribas Open. He is yet to lose a set thus far. He defeated American Jordan Thompson in the first round, followed by a commanding win over Gilles Simon, a match which he dominated from the start to the end. He broke Simon five times and allowed him to take only four games in the entire match.

He then got the better of the big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic in straight sets. He broke the Croatian twice – once in each set. That was enough to get him through to the quarter-final. He had a terrific serving day as he won 87% and 85% points on his first and second serves, respectively.

BNP Paribas Open - Day 8
BNP Paribas Open - Day 8

He comes to the semifinal well-rested as his quarter-final opponent Gael Monfils withdrew before the match due to injury. In the semifinal, he will meet big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic who too had a lackluster season before coming to Indian Wells.

Raonic had lost his first match of the season-opening Brisbane International to Daniil Medvedev. He had a decent Australian Open, where he managed to reach the quarter-finals, losing to Lucas Pouille in four sets.

But he faltered in his next two tournaments, losing to Stan Wawrinka in the second round at Rotterdam and to Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round of Dubai. But he has looked good at Indian Wells so far, avenging his loss to Struff in the third round here.

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In the quarter-final against Kecmanovic, he won 88% of his first serve points and did not get broken even once, while breaking his opponent twice, once in each set.

Even though Thiem is producing some of his best tennis in this tournament, considering it is a hard court, which is not the Austrian’s favourite surface, it is the Canadian who has the edge going into this match.

Prediction: Milos Raonic to win in 3 Sets

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ANALYST
For Amarjeet Nayak, sports is a part of life. From Federer, the "GoAT" to Sachin, the "God", he has lived the agony and ecstasy of his favourite sports persons along with them, but with the passage of time he has learnt to love sports a wee bit more than the sports persons. He understands that his favourite sports persons just play a small, but significant part in the glorious history of various sports, but no sports person is above sports. Though tennis takes up much of the time that he dedicates to sports, he keenly follows India's national pastime Cricket as well as football, badminton, hockey, and athletics, to name a few. As a sports analyst, he would like to be a part of the constant conversation about sports and sports persons. Through his sportskeeda columns, he would like to share his thoughts on various sports and sports persons, with his fellow sports lovers.
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