Australian Open: Novak Djokovic beats Milos Raonic in quarters

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Melbourne Park
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013

Four-time champion Novak Djokovic dismantled the big serving of Milos Raonic to reach the Australian Open semi-finals.

The world number one needed just one hour and 55 minutes to beat eighth seed Raonic 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-2.

Djokovic, 27, is through to his 25th Grand Slam semi-final as he chases an eighth major title.

He will next face defending champion Stan Wawrinka for the third year running in Melbourne.

"I take a lot of confidence," sad Djokovic. "I try to carry that in every next match, next challenge. Obviously I'm going to play Stan, who is the defending champion here.

"We played five-set matches in 2013 and 2014 Australian Open. I'm going to be ready for a fight. But knowing that I have raised the level of performance tonight, and probably playing the best match of the tournament so far is affecting my confidence in a positive way.

"Hopefully I can carry that into next one."

Milos Raonic
Raonic could find no way back after losing the first set in a tie-break

Raonic, 24, went into the match with 99 aces to his name and having dropped serve just twice in four matches.

Djokovic's return proved too much to handle, however, and while lacking the Canadian's service speed, the Serb moved into the last four having been broken just once in the tournament.

There were moments of frustration for Djokovic as four break points came and went in the first set, but a wild Raonic forehand at 3-2 down in the tie-break handed over the initiative.

Djokovic capitalised, before taking an even firmer grip on the contest with a brilliant cross-court backhand winner to finally break at the start of the second.

Raonic, who reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year, could not hurt the top seed and failed to muster a single break point as the match raced away from him.

Djokovic broke twice more as he cruised through the third set, sealing victory with a backhand volley to reach his fifth Australian semi-final.

"He just didn't allow me to organise my game. Even when he was returning well, by the end of the match he was doing a good job of playing deep and never allowing me to go forward," said Raonic.

"Obviously if you watch the footage, he was pretty much on the baseline the whole time and I was further back."

Novak Djokovic signs autographs after his straight-sets win
Djokovic signs autographs after his straight-sets win in Melbourne

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