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Defending Champ Raonic stuns Nadal to advance to Brisbane semis

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Former World No.1 Spaniard Rafael Nadal was beaten by Canadian Milos Raonic 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 in the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International championship tennis tournament on Friday.

Just a week after facing off in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi in a semi-final that ended with the Spaniard winning, Nadal and Raonic were again playing each other in Brisbane.

A break of serve in the fifth game was enough to give Nadal the opening set, however, Raonic bounced back in set no.2 breaking serve in the all important 8th game before serving out the set in the very next game.

Another break of serve followed to open the third set and there was no looking back from that point as the Canadian fired down 23 aces to wrap up the contest.

With this victory, Raonic will continue defending his title in the semi-finals against Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who defeated Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Raonic shared after his win, "I think today the mentality behind the match was what sort of kept me around. It’s something that I have paid attention to over the last seven months or so. That kept me around. That’s what I have to be most proud of.”

The other semi-final will witness Swiss Stan Wawrinka pit his wits against Japan's Kei Nishikori. Wawrinka battled past Brit Kyle Edmund 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4 in a well contested quarter-final, but will come up against a much fresher Nishikori, who crushed Australian wildcard recipient Jordan Thompson, 6-1, 6-1.