Raonic reaches Cincinnati semis

Milos Raonic has beaten Austrian eighth seed Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-4 to cruise into the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Open and the possibility of avenging his Wimbledon final loss to Andy Murray.

The big-serving Canadian continued an impressive run of form on Friday as he unleashed 17 aces without facing a break point during the 68-minute match that put him within two wins of his first ATP Masters 1000 title.

“I’ve practiced with Dominic 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 US 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 citing health concerns and instead spent time with coach John McEnroe examining the disappointment of losing to Murray in his first grand slam final.

“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. (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 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.”

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.

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