Bernard Tomic’s valiant Queen’s Club run has come to an end in the semi-finals at the hands of big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic.
The world No.9 proved too strong for Tomic, prevailing 6-4 6-4 in 62 minutes to advance to a Sunday final with top seed and record-chaser Andy Murray.
Murray, who earlier on Saturday defeated Marin Cilic 6-3 4-6 6-3, is seeking to become the first five-time winner at Queen’s.
The world No.2 is one of eight players to have won four Queen’s titles, including Australia’s two-time grand slam champion Lleyton Hewitt.
Despite the defeat, Tomic showed enough through his powerful service games and guile around the court to suggest he will be a genuine danger to the big names at Wimbledon later this month.
Tomic started a rank outsider against the third seed, despite knocking off world No.18 Gilles Muller and No.20 Kevin Anderson, as well as the tricky Fernando Verdasco, en route to his maiden semi-final appearance at the Queen’s Club.
But he started promisingly as both players traded quick service games – with the Australian dropping just the one point in his opening three service games.
But Raonic, who knocked out Australia’s top-ranked male Nick Kyrgios in the first round, shifted gears in the ninth game.
After saving three break points, two of which he’d offered up by way of double faults, Tomic cracked to give Raonic a 5-4 which he capitalised on to close out the first set in 29 minutes with an ace.
Two moments of madness cost Tomic dearly in the second set, when he first misjudged a deep return from Raonic which landed on the line – but Tomic chose to leave to offer up break point.
An optimistic challenge merely confirmed Tomic’s error in judgment and he compounded the matter by double-faulting to hand Raonic the crucial break and give up a 3-2 advantage.
It was all the giant Canadian needed and he surged home with 12 aces to join Murray in Sunday’s final.