Djokovic seals semifinal spot with Raonic win

Djokovic was given a major test by Raonic, but the defending champion came from behind in both tie-breaks to make it eight wins out of eight against the world number four with a 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) victory at the O2 Arena on Tuesday.

NovakDjokoviccropped

Novak Djokovic is striving to return to the top of the rankings in London.

Novak Djokovic maintained his perfect record against Milos Raonic to become the first player to reach the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion is striving to return to the top of the rankings in London after he was dislodged by Andy Murray and has looked very much a man on a mission this week, winning both matches to top Group Ivan Lendl.

Djokovic was given a major test by Raonic, but the defending champion came from behind in both tie-breaks to make it eight wins out of eight against the World No. 4 with a 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) victory at the O2 Arena on Tuesday.

While Djokovic, aiming to claim the title for a fifth consecutive year, is assured of a place in the last four, the big-serving Raonic can join him with a win over Dominic Thiem in his final round-robin match at the season-ending tournament.

Djokovic was slow to get going in his win over Thiem on Sunday and had to save three break points in his first two service games as a fired up Raonic piled on the early pressure.

They proved to be the only opportunities for either player to claim a break during an opening set in which both men were sold in defence and strong on serve, so it took a high quality tie-break for the second seed to get his nose in front.

Raonic led 3-1 in a topsy-turvy breaker, but Djokovic fought back and came up with a sublime backhand lob to earn a first set point before a double fault from the Canadian put the favourite a set up.

The Australian and French Open champion broke in the first game of the second, then again to lead 3-2 after Raonic broke back with a forehand pass but the Serb was pegged back at 4-4 when he netted a forehand.

Raonic had a chance to level the match when he earned a set point at 6-5, but tamely netted and Djokovic showed the resilience of a champion to claw his way back in a second breaker to celebrate yet another win when his opponent was off target with a backhand.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Djokovic [2] bt Raonic [4] 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5)

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 

Djokovic - 11/22
Raonic - 42/27

ACES 

Djokovic - 2
Raonic - 14

BREAK POINTS WON 

Djokovic - 2/2
Raonic - 2/7

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 

Djokovic - 64
Raonic - 57

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 

Djokovic - 72/46
Raonic - 84/36

TOTAL POINTS 

Djokovic - 85
Raonic- 83