By Sudipto Ganguly
MELBOURNE, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Frenchman Lucas Pouille tamed big-serving Milos Raonic 7-6(4) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-4 in the Australian Open quarter-final to advance to his maiden Grand Slam semi-final on Wednesday.
The Frenchman, 24, took the first set with a brilliant forehand pass against an advancing Raonic in the tiebreak and converted his only breakpoint opportunity in the second set with a measured backhand lob before two winners and two big serves gave Pouille the second stanza.
The 28-year-old Raonic made former top 10 player Pouille pay for wasting four breakpoints by winning the third set tiebreaker but the Frenchman broke the Canadian again in the fourth, converting his third matchpoint to seal the contest in just over three hours.
Pouille will meet the winner of the last quarter-final between top-seeded Serb Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori of Japan for a place in Sunday’s final.