Raonic uses blistering serve to reach Cincinnati semis
(Reuters) - Milos Raonic beat Austrian eighth seed Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-4 on Friday to cruise into the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open where he could get a chance to avenge his Wimbledon final loss to Andy Murray.
The big-serving Canadian continued his impressive run of form in Cincinnati as he unleashed 17 aces and did not face a break point during the 68-minute match that put him within two wins of his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.
"I've practiced with him many times, so to some extent I have an understanding of his game, like he has of mine," Raonic told the ATP Tour website. "But it's different come match time, so I did a little bit of studying. I feel like I took that all in and adapted well."
Next up for Raonic at the last key U.S. Open tune-up is the winner of Friday's other quarter-final between Britain's Murray, fresh off a successful defence of his Olympic title at the Rio Games, and Australian Bernard Tomic.
Raonic skipped the Olympics for a variety of health concerns and instead spent time with coach John McEnroe and the two discussed the disappointment of losing to Murray in his first career grand slam final appearance.
"There were some very prolonged discussions about how I can make a difference on that (mental) part. If I want to make the steps forward in the big tournaments, that's going to make the biggest difference," Raonic told ESPN.
“There were certain moments when I was in the (Wimbledon final) and I thought I was really putting out all the intensity mentally. He (McEnroe) told me he felt I missed a few important moments where I could have showed some intensity. I re-watched the match and saw seven key moments."
Raonic was also asked whether he had any regret over his decision to miss the Olympics.
"I don't know regret, but definitely what we call in my generation 'FOMO,' 'fear of missing out,' for not being there.
"I felt the decision I made was the right decision for me and I would have to swallow that. I knew there would be an unease about not being there but I tried to make the most of it. It’s been fantastic to watch."
In other quarter-final action, Croatian 12th seed Marin Cilic advanced when compatriot Borna Coric retired with a knee injury after dropping the first set 6-2 while unseeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov beat American Steve Johnson 7-6(8) 6-2.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue)