Milos Raonic seeks to make his second Indian Wells final on Saturday afternoon. The Canadian had a disastrous outing on his first occasion, winning just two games in a one-sided match with Novak Djokovic in 2016. Already 2-0 against Dominic Thiem, he will be favoured to beat the Canadian here. The winner will play either Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer in the final. Check out the Raonic vs Thiem H2H stats.
Thiem took advantage of a Gael Monfils withdrawal to earn his place in the semi finals. The Austrian has an interesting partnership going with former pro Nicolas Massu, who will be with his team during the hard court swing this month. “I like the conditions here and feel I’ve always played quite well on these courts ever since I first came here in 2014. I’ve had really good practise and preparation, but I will see how it’s going in matches.” he said prior to the tournament. While the draw has played out nicely for him, he has been rarely troubled in his three matches played so far – winning in straights against Jordan Thompson, Gilles Simon and Ivo Karlovic.
Raonic didn’t have the fortune of a free pass to the semi finals, although his win over Miomir Kecmanovic in the quarter finals was fairly routine. He is enjoying the tournament this fortnight, with conditions working in his favour. “I think the conditions are good for me, especially when the sun’s out.” he said. “The court heats up a little bit. There is a good amount of jump on the court. This year it’s a little bit slower than the previous years, but it allows me to take a few more swipes at a few more shots, and I can do different things with my serve that I need to get ahead in the point.”
Winning this weekend would be a huge achievement for Raonic, being his first Masters 1000 title. “It would be there… parallel to the Wimbledon final, if not higher, just because it’s going through a week amongst the best players in the world without ending with a loss,” he said. “It’s not easy to do, especially not the ones at the beginning of the year. Nobody is really rushing here. Guys can bring their best tennis.”
Prediction – Milos Raonic in three sets