Nadal took down Canadian Milos Raonic to advance to his first semifinal since 2009
Set One: Rafa vs. Milos
The Canadian and the Spaniard both started out strong, holding their serves until 3-3. But ultimately, it was Rafa who came out on top, outperforming Milos by hitting several impressive shots as well as a missed overhead from Raonic. After this, Nadal held his serve and closed the set out 6-4 with an overhead.
The two started out tied until 4-4. The two were locked in combat, both not giving up any easy points. Rafa even went so far to save a set point from Raonic when he was down 4-5 and tied it back to 5-5. However, Raonic did the same, saving a break point for himself. Eventually, the two went into a tiebreaker and Rafa came back from a 3-5 deficit to win in the tiebreaker 9-7.
With two sets under his belt, Rafa went into the third set with much more confidence. However, both players both held their serves yet again but finally, with a 5-4 lead, Rafa finally broke Raonic and won the match, securing himself a spot in the semifinals. The two played great and even though Milos lost, the Canadian was praised for his performance.
Both players knew what they were doing. Raonic has had a breakout season so far and Rafa has slowly improved his match play. But why did Nadal win? It came down to the smallest of details. Raonic, with his big serve, was able to secure about 80% of his serve games. Rafa, with his consistent baseline, made every game go down to the last point. But ultimately, because Nadal was able to outlast Raonic and get the balls that seemed impossible, he won more of the points which led to him winning the match.
Rafael Nadal will play Grigor Dimitrov in the Semifinals. This is Grigor’s first Semifinals.