Brisbane Int'l: Dimitrov upsets Raonic, faces Nishikori in final

Milos Raonic’s title defence ended in a semifinal loss to Grigor Dimitrov at the Brisbane International on Saturday, a day after his come-from-behind win over Rafael Nadal.

Grigor Dimitrov saved a set point in the first set to win 7-6 (7), 6-2.   -  AP

Milos Raonic’s title defence ended in a semifinal loss to Grigor Dimitrov at the Brisbane International on Saturday, a day after his >come-from-behind win over Rafael Nadal. Top-seeded Raonic beat Roger Federer for the title here last year, avenging a loss to the Swiss star in the 2015 final, and appeared to be on course for a third straight Brisbane final when he had set point in the first-set tiebreaker against Dimitrov.

But the 25-year-old Bulgarian held firm, saving that set point, converting his own moments later and then breaking Raonic’s serve twice in the second set on the way to a 7-6 (7), 6-2 win. The No. 17-ranked Dimitrov improved his record to 3-1 in career meetings against Raonic and set up a final against Kei Nishikori, who >beat U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (3), 6-3 to reach the final for the first time at the season-opening tournament.

Nishikori has a 3-0 record against Dimitrov, who lost the 2013 Brisbane final to Andy Murray and was ousted by Federer in his previous two trips to Brisbane.

Wawrinka, who won the Chennai tournament in India in the first week of the season for the three previous years, had treatment on his left ankle in the first and second sets but didn’t expect it to cause him any trouble at the Australian Open, which begins January 16 in Melbourne.