Murray overcomes Wawrinka to book Japan Open semis, Raonic beats Tipsarevic

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Andy Murray and Milos Raonic will be meeting in the Japan Open 2012 semis after winning three-setters against Wawrinka and Tipsarevic.

Top seed Murray, the defender of last year’s Tokyo title, got off to a flying start and broke Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the opening game of their quarterfinal clash, however, he could only take a 2-0 lead after saving four re-break points. Smooth display from then on for the US Open and Olympic winner as he added another break to his tally and managed to convert set point number one to take the lead in the match. A great serving performance by both players marked the second set with the exception of two games in the middle of it. Murray failed to hold on to his serve in the fourth game after going 0-40 down and Wawrinka went 4-1 up after averting two break points in the following game. The Swiss dropped only one point in his remaining two service games and made it one set each. In the end, grabbing a break and a set was the best Wawrinka could get out of the match. The decider was the repetition of the first set with the British tennis hero stealing two of his opponent’s serves, sending him home with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 victory.

Sixth seed Canadian Raonic kept his clean record against third-seeded Janko Tipsarevic, beating him for the second time in 2012. He battled through to Tokyo semis by smashing 24 aces in two hours and forty minutes (Tipsarevic 7) and not handing his rival any break point opportunities. Even so, the first set tie-break went Tipsarevic’s way. The second set was all about Raonic’s service dominance and two successful upsets of his rival’s serve. Ultimately, the best ranked Canadian leveled the score with a  break to love. This was to be the last break of the day as the semifinalist would be decided after the fifth tie-break out of six sets played between the players so far. Arguably, it was the most dramatic of them all as each of the athletes wasted a match ball by 7-all. Tipsarevic gave away a crucial mini-break next and Raonic did not hesitate to wrap it all up with a 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (7) scoreline.

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