Pouille beats odds to reach maiden semis

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 24 Jan 2019 12:32:53



FRENCHMAN Lucas Pouille continued his unlikely run at the Australian Open by stunning in-form Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-4 to advance to his maiden Grand Slam semi-final on Wednesday.
The odds were stacked heavily against the 28th seeded Pouille on his arrival in Melbourne after he lost all three of his singles matches for France in the Hopman Cup before making a first-round exit in Sydney.

Pouille exited in the first round in his five previous appearances at Melbourne Park and his quarter-final matchup was against an opponent who he had been unable to take a set off in three meetings. On Wednesday, though, he simply dominated the 2016 Wimbledon finalist, facing a single break point over the entire match while earning 14 against Raonic, who is famous on the men’s tour for his booming serves. “I didn’t have to face a break point for almost three hours,” Pouille told reporters.

“Even if I lost the third set, in my mind it was clear I had to stay focused on my service game, taking care of that, then trying to put as many returns as I can.
“I’m still leading two sets to one, so I don’t have to panic. I really needed to stay positive, still doing what I did great for two hours 30 minutes.”
He passed Raonic with both forehand and lobbed winners and would have wrapped up the match in three sets if he had done justice to four break point opportunities in the third.