Imperious Novak Djokovic powers into semis with Milos Raonic lesson
Serb world number one Novak Djokovic dominated Canada`s Milos Raonic in straight sets to claim his fifth Australian Open semi-final on Wednesday.
Melbourne: Serb world number one Novak Djokovic dominated Canada`s Milos Raonic in straight sets to claim his fifth Australian Open semi-final on Wednesday.
The top seed was in dazzling form in dishing out a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-2 hammering of the world number eight in two hours and will face defending champion Stan Wawrinka for a place in Sunday`s final.
Swiss fourth seed Wawrinka upset Djokovic in last year`s quarter-finals on the way to winning the Australian Open for his first major title.
This year Djokovic looks the player to beat and was in outstanding touch on Rod Laver Arena, hitting 33 winners and just 17 unforced errors, with three service breaks and winning 89 percent of his first serves.
It will be his 25th Grand Slam semi-final on Friday.
Raonic, one of the biggest servers in men`s tennis, could not get one break point on Djokovic`s serve, with the Serb now dropping only one service game in the tournament.
"I take a lot of confidence and I try to carry that in every match. Stan and I played five-set matches in the last two Australian Opens," Djokovic said.
"I`m going to be ready for a fight. But knowing that I have raised the level of performance tonight, and probably playing the best match of the tournament so far is affecting my confidence in a positive way.
"Hopefully I can carry that into next one. I served very well and overall it was a great match against one of the up and coming rising stars."
Djokovic said he felt supremely confident about his game heading into the business end of the tournament.
"Tonight there was not much I could complain about. From the first game till the last I played the way I wanted. I created a lot of break point opportunities," he said.
"The key of tonight`s match was to get as many balls back in play. I executed very, very well. It`s easier said than done, but I feel very good about my game in this moment."
Raonic has yet to beat the world number one in five encounters and went into the match with the most aces in the tournament, but could only manage 15, well down on the 25 he had been averaging in his earlier four matches.
Djokovic, who is chasing a fifth Australian title and eighth Grand Slam, had few problems with the big-serving Canadian and had break points in two service games before he claimed the opening set in a tiebreaker in 56 minutes.
Raonic could not lay a glove on the world number one, who pounced with a service break in the opening game of the second set.
The top seed cracked Raonic`s serve twice in the final set to cruise to the finish line.
"He just didn`t allow me to organize my game. Even when he was returning well, by the end of the match he was doing a good job of playing deep and never allowing me to go forward," Raonic said.
"He was pretty much on the baseline the whole time and I was further back."