Milos Raonic has a major roadblock standing between himself and his second career ATP Masters 1000 tournament final.
Namely, former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Eighth-seeded Raonic advanced to the semifinals of the clay-court Internazionali BNL d’Italia Friday in Rome, downing Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in the quarters. Djokovic was able to get past Spain’s David Ferrer 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
“I don’t think clay will be my best surface, but I think it can come close,” Raonic told Sky Sports. “I like having the time. I’ve just got to not doubt my game plan in tough moments, like at the end of the second set where I got a little bit too defensive. I’ve got to keep my foot on the pedal, play aggressive and try to dictate as much as I can. I think the clay can be good for me.”
Saturday’s semi will be the second time Raonic has faced Djokovic, the second seed in Rome, but first in an ATP tournament. Djokovic beat Raonic on clay in the Davis Cup semifinals last year.
“If I can control the centre of the court (in the semifinal), if I really be the one dictating and take care of my service it’s going to be very important,” Raonic said on the tournament website.
In men’s doubles, Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic, the No. 6 seeds, will face top-seeded American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan in the semifinals Saturday.