Published: Thu, January 26, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Rafael Nadal v Milos Raonic: Australian Open quarter-final

Rafael Nadal v Milos Raonic: Australian Open quarter-final

On a day that Roger Federer moved one match away from the final of the Australian Open, and Rafael Nadal is still there, Andy Roddick joined The Tennis Podcast to declare that a meeting between the two in the final could be "the most historically significant match ever".

Nadal said the win over Monfils was a big result for him.

"Grigor is a great player I think".

One element that could work in his favour is that Raonic suffering from the after-effects of 'flu, although the illness has not stopped him racking up dozens of unplayable aces as he has powered through the draw.

Nadal being in the semifinal is "good news" after coming off injuries in the back half of 2016 and having to beat some of the world's top players - Zverev, Gael Monfrils and now Raonic - to reach the final four.

The 11th-seeded Goffin equalled his best Grand Slam showing by reaching the last eight with a 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-2 win over the eighth-seeded Austrian in two hours 44 minutes. Both players wore thick headbands throughout the night - Raonic to tame a thick and youthful mane, Nadal to cleverly disguise what little remains of his own. At one point I asked myself: 'Should I be in the legends tour?' Then I said to Venus, that we could still play the doubles and the singles because we have the age, but we are in the professional tour for now.

Raonic, who is now the highest seed in the tournament, dispatched off another Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in a four-setter on Monday.

He suffered a wobble in the third set, though, when his French opponent snatched the only break point of the game, but Nadal fought back in the fourth at 3-2 down.

Even though odds makers expect the Spaniard to prevail in five sets (4/6 odds according to The Telegraph), Raonic is determined to dash Nadal's hopes of returning to his first major final in three years.

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The second set was also the same though Raonic called a medical break in the sixth game to take treatment on a troublesome hip.

Before that, tonight's first men's semi-final will see Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka put their friendship aside as both men bid for a place in the 2017 Australian Open men's final.

"(Raonic) beat me two weeks ago in Brisbane, so I made a decision to go more inside the court on the return.

Mini-sprees At that point Nadal was turning rallies into bare-knuckle brawls, subtly shifting gears from defence to attack, and going on mini-sprees with his signature forehand winners. "It's very special for me, especially here in Australia where I feel (it's) a little bit like home". "I was beaten "in just" 18 matches".

The king of clay is back, ending the campaign of big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic in straight sets to reach the semi-final of the Australian Open.

Meanwhile, Raonic has had an easier route to the final 8, coasting through the first two rounds before finishing off Gilles Simon and Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets apiece.

Serena Williams brushed aside Britain's Johanna Konta to set up an Australian Open semi-final with an emotional Mirjana Lucic-Baroni on Wednesday - 19 years after they last met as fellow teenage prodigies.

"That's very important for me because that mean (s) that I am competitive and playing well", Nadal told reporters after his 6-4, 7-6 (7), 6-4 win.

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