Both seeking a fourth Masters 1000 career final, Milos Raonic and Juan Martin Del Potro will face off in the second semi-final at Indian Wells on Saturday. Raonic and Del Potro count the tournament amongst their losing finals with Raonic losing to Djokovic in 2016 and Del Potro to Nadal in 2013.
Raonic scrapped his way through a three setter with Sam Querrey, eventually defeating the American 7-5 2-6 6-3. He didn’t start well, getting broken to start the match. However, he broke to stay in the set as part of four straight games to eventually win it. The Canadian was pleased with the victory but admits there is much to work on, especially with a stronger opponent next up. “A lot of things were very good. I have to be disciplined with myself to put a good level consistently throughout, from start to end. I was a little bit up and down too much, and if I don’t get lucky like I did at the end of that first set, it’s a very different storyline,” Raonic said. “So it’s important, I’m happy about it, but still got a long ways to go, a lot of things to keep working on and doing better.”
Del Potro was not quite at his best against Philipp Kohlschreiber, coming through against the German 3-6 6-3 6-4. His delight at returning to the top of the game and avoiding injury is clear to see. “Thank God I’m here and healthy, and I’m playing tennis again. I’m in the Top 10 again. I have too much love from the crowd, for my fans, and I’m doing this because I love it.” he said.
“I know Milos is another guy who can win the tournament. Roger and Coric are playing so good. So everything can happen. But I’m looking forward to winning my first here,” Del Potro said. He will look to avenge last year’s Delray Beach loss although the roles have been reversed somewhat. Raonic is still in comeback mode from long term injury while Del Potro is in strong form, currently holding a 9 match wining streak.
Prediction – Juan Martin Del Potro in three sets