Milos Raonic ends lucky loser's run at Indian Wells

Milos Raonic ends lucky loser's run at Indian Wells

World No. 7 Dominic Thiem reached an ATP Indian Wells Masters semifinal showdown with Milos Raonic without hitting a ball Thursday as injured Gael Monfils withdrew.

The Canadian beat the 19-year-old Serb 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the semifinals and improve to 19-4 at Indian Wells since 2014.

The Canadian will face Thiem for a place in the final after the seventh seed's quarterfinal opponent Monfils said he was unable to play due to an injured Achilles.

"You can't give him too much time", Raonic said of Thiem. "I'm definitely playing how I feel it, and it's going well so I'm not planning on changing that".

Belinda Bencic beat fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the semis, ensuring her return to the top 20 in the rankings. "Because I was playing great tennis, feeling strong".

At 15-3 this year, Monfils was off to the best start of his career, but he was 0-4 against Thiem. "I'm not going to the court with any expectation". Speaking to reporters after her win, Kerber said, "Venus is just such a great player and an unbelievable champion".

In the victory, Kerber won 65 percent of her first serve points and 68 percent of her second serve points.

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Williams fought off two break points to tie the second set 2-all before Kerber again won three games in a row for a 5-2 lead.

Players receiving wild cards directly into the men's main draw include Spanish veteran David Ferrer, who has said 2019 will e his last season. She broke Williams in the match's longest game that went to deuce five times when Williams' forehand went wide.

Kerber has won the last three meetings against Bencic, and all six matches overall have been decided in six straight sets.

The Swiss racked up 27 unforced errors in the match to just 14 winners, and Kerber converted seven of the nine break points she held, thanks in part to winning 65 percent of points played in Bencic's service games overall.

The 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., dug deep to upset No. 6 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in a thrilling semifinal on Friday night.

Raonic is looking for his ninth career ATP Tour title, but has never won at the top level below Grand Slams - Masters 1000.