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Milos Raonic advanced to his fifth semifinal of the season on Friday with a 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(7) victory over world No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo, setting up a clash with US Open champion Andy Murray for a spot in the final.
Against Tipsarevic, Raonic saved a match point in the deciding third-set tiebreaker en route to his triumph. Forced to come back from a set down after being unable to capitalize on two break points in the opening set and then giving up a mini-break in the tiebreaker, the 21-year-old was able to turn the match around. Throughout the two hour and 43 minute battle, Raonic served 24 aces and didn't allow Tipsarevic a single break point opportunity.
The quarter-final match was similar to their only other previous meeting, in the championship match at Chennai, where Raonic also came out on top. In that contest, all three sets went to tiebreakers, and Raonic did not surrender a single service game.
Looking ahead to the semifinals, Raonic and Murray have played each other twice this year, the Canadian picking up a win in the Barcelona quarter-finals and the world No. 3 exacting revenge with a straight-sets triumph in the fourth round at the US Open. For Murray, who is the ATP World Tour 500 event's defending champion, Tokyo represents the Scot's first tournament since he clinched his maiden Slam trophy in New York. He defeated Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarters to earn his spot in the semifinals.
The four other semifinals Raonic has reached in 2012 were at Chennai, San Jose, Memphis, and Barcelona. He ended up capturing the trophies at Chennai and San Jose, reaching the final at Memphis and falling in the round of four at Barcelona.
Raonic will take on Murray for a place in his fourth final of 2012 at 11 p.m. ET on Friday.
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