Australian Open 2016: Murray set for Raonic semi-final

Andy Murray
Andy Murray is bidding to reach his fifth Australian Open final
Australian Open semi-final
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: Friday 29 January Start: 08:30 GMT
Coverage: Live Radio 5 live sports extra and online text commentary from 08:15 GMT, plus highlights on BBC Two and BBC Sport website at 14:00 GMT.

Britain's Andy Murray plays Canada's Milos Raonic on Friday for a place in Sunday's Australian Open final.

Four-time runner-up Murray is attempting to reach his fifth final in Melbourne, where Novak Djokovic awaits.

Big-serving Raonic, the 13th seed, is chasing a spot in his first Grand Slam final having seen off Frenchman Gael Monfils in the quarter-finals.

Murray, 28, and Raonic, 25, have played each other eight times on Tour, with honours even.

Full commentary on the match is available on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra from 08:30 GMT, with television highlights following on BBC Two at 14:00 GMT.

Murray's mind elsewhere?

By his own admission, Murray has struggled to keep his mind on the job in Melbourne, despite advancing to the last four of the season's first major.

The world number two's father-in-law, Nigel Sears, collapsed earlier in the tournament, while his wife Kim is heavily pregnant back home in Britain.

Murray shrugged off the distractions to beat tough Spaniard David Ferrer in four sets in the quarter-finals but Raonic, who is in the form of his career, could pose a bigger threat.

Federer's seal of approval

Raonic, who reached the last four at Wimbledon in 2014, has long been tipped as the next big thing and under new coach Carlos Moya, he might be about to deliver on his promise.

The 6ft 5in Canadian was once written off as one-dimensional. However, he beat 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka in five sets in the fourth round using aggressive serve-and-volley tactics.

Milos Raonic
Raonic has won eight Tour titles, most recently the Brisbane International earlier this month

Roger Federer, who lost to Djokovic in their semi-final on Thursday, was certainly impressed by Raonic's improvement after losing to him in the final of the Brisbane International earlier this month.

"For a big guy he moves well," said 17-time major winner Federer. "He's improved his fitness the last few years. Also, tactically he's better now than he's ever been."

Clash of styles

Murray versus Raonic promises to be an intriguing clash of styles, with power player Raonic pitted against one of the game's best returners and defenders.

Also one of the game's finest passers, Murray will be keen to test Raonic's commitment to coming into the net early in the match.

Analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Murray's experience could count for a great deal, but Raonic has given notice this month that a maiden Grand Slam final may not be that far away.

He beat Roger Federer to win the title in Brisbane, and has knocked out the 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka en route to the last four in Melbourne.

His serve has found a pleasing groove and his net play is hugely advanced, having decided to dedicate much more time in practice to it.

But Murray played very well in the final two sets of his quarter-final victory over Ferrer and has won four of his five previous Australian Open semi-finals.

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