Milos Raonic can make his second Australian Open semi final with a win on Wednesday. He takes on Lucas Pouille for the opportunity to most likely play Novak Djokovic in the final four. The Canadian is in top form recently and will surely be confident of taking this match, especially given his 3-0 record against Pouille. Check out the Raonic vs Pouille H2H stats.
After a lengthy five setter against young home favourite Alexei Popyrin in the round prior, Pouille had it a bit easier in round four. The Frenchman lost the first set but was fairly strong on serve from then on, being broke just once – in part due to an impressive 83% of first serve points won – in a 6-7 6-4 7-5 7-6 win. He has been working with Amelie Mauresmo this year and it appears to be working wonders for him so far, bringing him a first slam quarter final since 2016. “I tried to mix it up a lot with the backhand. Slice, dropshot, try to be more consistent than him at some points.” he said on his tactics for that match.
Raonic has been impressive this week but stepped it up a notch against Alexander Zverev. After dropping serve in the first game, he tore the German apart during the first two sets. The third was a bit tougher but he would advance in straights 6-1 6-1 7-6, coming from a minibreak down in the third set tiebreak. He hit another 15 aces but more impressive was his 20 break points earned, from which six breaks came. “Overall I’m happy with how I dealt with numerous situations throughout the match and how I played. I think I did some things extremely well.” he said.
Pouille will have to adjust his tactics accordingly with Raonic serving bombs and unlikely to be playing too many lengthy rallies but also returning at a high level relatively. “Returning-wise, I’m just trying to mix things up. I’m taking care of my serve pretty efficiently throughout the whole tournament.” he said on what he is hoping to achieve in return games.. “Just always trying to make the other guy off balance, think a little bit, give them different looks, to try to give myself an opportunity to come forward or just put various amounts of pressure on them.”
Prediction – Milos Raonic in 4 sets